CS2: Free Labor

free labor
Free Labor Part 1

You are a Canadian Economics professor presenting an academic paper at an International Rural Business Development conference. After your presentation, you are approached by an economic strategic planner for a rural municipality in an, under-resourced part of the country; he tells you that that the strategies that you outlined in your presentation are in line with the strategies that he is trying to implement in his own community. By the end of the conference, the two of you have hatched a plan whereby you will bring your 4th year students to work in the planner’s rural municipal office as a service-learning project.

When you present the idea to your students, they are enthusiastic and the class starts to make preparations to incorporate the placement into their summer session course. A few weeks into the planning, one of the students informs you that she cannot accompany the class on the placement. She is an international student with limited funds and her parents are not willing to pay for her to travel during his studies and they have concerns for her safety while traveling with the group.

Balance & Reciprocity

  • How does the theme of “Balance & Reciprocity” apply to the relationships of power and privilege within your classroom dynamic, not just within the dynamic between university and community partner?
  • Do you continue with the project without the international students’ attendance?
  • How might international engagement on campus be exclusive, versus inclusive?
  • How much synergy actually exists between the international community project and the course?
  • What are the motivations of the community partner and has the professor engaged in an honest conversation about “Balance & Reciprocity” surrounding the expectations of the partnership?

Training & Education

  • In considering the role of ISL as a high impact learning activity, how do we make ISL accessible to all students? Or should we?
  • How do you go about incorporating ISL into a class?
  • How do you select students? Or do you?
  • If a community organization can’t do the work or continue the work, should it be done by a group of students?
  • Are these students truly skilled enough in this area of work that it is justified that they are replacing paid professional labor?

Free Labor Part 2

Theoretical Framework: Critical Pedagogy

Project Phase: Preparation