"How might we better use our schools and community centers to encourage connecting and cooperation among ourselves?"
"How might we design new programs that address the tensions in our neighborhoods?"
"How might we establish a community trust fund that enables us to offset the costs of training and higher education?"
Service-learning is a great way to combine meaningful service to the community with learning objectives. It can be especially effective in helping students improve their academic skills while applying what they learn to address real community needs.
But achieving the expectations of teachers, students, and community partners is not always easy. Careful planning and preparation are required. And active participation by all stakeholders is a must.
Using the ShuraForAll tool can help. Here's how.
The potential of being a leader exists in all of us.
People do not have to be born with specific traits of a leader. Rather, leadership emerges in those who constantly test themselves through real-world experiences and who strive to understand who they are at their core. Learn more about Maryam's experiences »
Learning to lead is a process of learning by doing. Leadership, then, is a craft that can be cultivated through activities designed to provide opportunities for youth to work in teams to solve real-life problems. ShuraForAll supports leadership development as outlined below. For more information and online or onsite support, contact us.
ShuraForAll encourages the development of just leaders who are compassionate toward others. These leaders regularly consult with a broad range of people who actively participate in making decisions on selecting the best course of action to take on matters of importance to them.
Want to share the story of such a person? Please email it to ShuraForAll for consideration of adding it to the Emerging Leaders Series. If selected, the story will be published on this site.
Students identify an opportunity to address a real issue or problem in their community. They use ShuraForAll to create and manage a shura whose participation can include other students, teachers, or advisors from other communities across the world.
The person who starts the shura is responsible for explaining its context and providing a timeline for completing its phases of activities.
Following the shura set up, all participants share their points of view on the issue as they recommend various courses of action to take. They are expected to provide evidence in the form of linked references or uploaded files to support their viewpoints.
After the discussion time period has ended, each person should select their preferred course of action based on their best judgment. The tool will compile selections and present the results to everyone. Once the course of action is agreed on, the shura effort moves to the next phase.
Try to put the selected course of action into motion by setting objectives and carrying out action steps. Each person either joins an existing team or starts a new team and then performs the work. ShuraForAll charts the progress along the way, letting everyone know how things are going.
Who can help us find opportunities to earn money while we are training to get new skills? Are there skilled people willing to volunteer to help us learn? What courses should be offered in our school that better prepare us?
What is causing our water to be bad? What can we do to prevent our water from being this way? Can we purify it ourselves?
What can families do to help each other? Can we get adults from other neighborhoods to help? How can we get school teachers involved?
What can we do to help? Should we try to write a grant? Are there organizations we can partner with?
Are there people with skills who will volunteer or work for a small wage to make repairs? Do they have the needed tools? Should we try to find a way to provide these tools ourselves? What other parts of this problem should we focus on?
ShuraForAll is undertaking a significant effort to help workgroups and organizations use shura to make better decisions with more people involved. Bryant Mitchell, Associate Professor of Business, Management and Accounting at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), is actively working with two organizations using ShuraForAll. He shares his experiences.
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