Ethnic Studies as a Site for Political Education: Critical Service Learning and the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights
by Tania D. Mitchell, University of Minnesota & Kathleen Coll, University of San Francisco
Service learning in political science is driven by a commitment to expanding what is meant by civic education. Following this tradition, this article presents an example of a course informed by critical service learning centered in a grassroots social movement. Partnered with the California Domestic Workers Coalition and the National Domestic Workers Alliance, this course involved students in direct political engagement to explore cultural citizenship, the legislative process, and the possibilities and limitations of grassroots movements for social change. Challenging traditional notions of what counts as service and who counts as an expert, the example of this course speaks to the promise of service learning pedagogy as a strategy to connect students in meaningful ways to critical social issues and as a tool for political education.