Community Service and Critical Teaching.


0 C* apitalism with a human face,” said our new provost, Phil Friedman. This was the way he hoped the United States would model capitalism for the new democracies in eastern Europe. It was, therefore, a motto for what the students at Bentley College, a business school, should be learning. My English Department colleague Edward Zlotkowski challenged the provost to put a human face on the students’ education by supporting a program that would make community service part of the curriculum. Friedman agreed and Zlotkowski took on the massive job of linking courses with community agencies. At first, the projects were simple: Students in writing courses visited soup kitchens and wrote up their experiences. Later, as the service-learning program developed, students in accounting classes helped revise the accounting procedures of non-profit community-service agencies and audited their books for free. Students in marketing and business communication designed advertising and public relations materials to improve the distribution of agencies’ services. And the students in one freshman composition classmine-learned to be adult literacy tutors and went weekly to a shelter in Boston to offer their help. There are many obvious benefits, to students and to the agencies and individuals they serve, from service learning. Many students become eager volunteers after the ice is broken by class projects and they see where they can go, how they can help. A surprising number of the students in my class, for example, did some volunteer work in high school, but would not