Author Archives: Joe Brooks

About Joe Brooks

Joe Brooks is the Founder and Director of Community Works Institute (CWI) and visionary advocate-leader for embedding place based service-learning in K-16 education and community programs. An internationally recognized expert in service-learning, Joe has worked over the past three decades, across the U.S. and internationally, with students, educators, and administrators, at every grade level, both in urban and rural contexts. RiverLore is an extension of Joe's long term vision and efforts to transform K-16 learning by connecting students to their local community. As a public school teacher Joe established a nationally recognized K-12 service-learning program that included a student run community newspaper that thrived for twenty years. In 1995 he established CWI's Summer EAST Institute in Vermont, and later Summer WEST in Los Angeles. These week long intensive Institutes function as a collaborative learning and design laboratory and have been attended by educators from nearly every U.S. state and many countries around the world.

A Unique Opportunity for Los Angles Area Educators

LA RiverLore is a highly innovative service-learning focused project for K-16 and community based educators. We’re connecting communities, students, and educators along the Los Angeles River. LA RiverLore is providing teachers in local schools the training, inspiration, collaboration, and connections … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum Development, Elementary Education, Environmental Education, Ethnography, Higher Education, LA River, Los Angeles, Place Based Education, Professional Development, Reciprocity, School/Community Gardens, Secondary Education, Service-Learning, Sustainability, Teaching, Urban Education | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

LA RiverLore Does Community Ethnography in MacArthur Park

LA RiverLore comes alive. We worked with Paul Lowe and his 4th-grade students at MacArthur Park Elementary, using “Community Ethnography”. Students explored their neighborhood, interviewing local residents, business owners, and recording the process with digital cameras.

Posted in Curriculum Development, Elementary Education, Ethnography, LA River, Los Angeles, Place Based Education, Professional Development, Service-Learning, Sustainability, Teaching, Urban Education | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Project Based Service-Learning: Students as Researchers of Immigration Narratives

By NATASHA AGRAWAL “The more young people who get the opportunity to travel the world, live in other cultures and learn new languages, the more they will begin to understand our shared ideals and the shared opportunities to keep moving … Continue reading

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Writing as Alchemy: Turning Objects into Stories, Stories into Objects

By ROSSINA ZAMORA LIU and BONNIE STONE SUNSTEIN I. Lawn Chair as Trope When Long moves into his next home, he will take only the things that matter most: his television, a Sony analog box that he and his wife … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum Development, Ethnography, Place Based Education, Professional Development, Service-Learning, Sustainability, Teaching, Urban Education | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Between Two Worlds: A Collaborative Curriculum Addressing Immigration through Folk Art, Media Literacy, and Digital Storytelling

By LAURA MARCUS GREEN with KATY GROSS and TARA TRUDELL Gallery of Conscience, Museum of International Folk Art exhibition Between Two Worlds: Folk Artists Reflect on the Immigrant Experience, 2014. Photo by Blair Clark. Courtesy of the Museum of International … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum Development, Elementary Education, Ethnography, Place Based Education, Professional Development, Service-Learning, Sustainability, Teaching, Urban Education | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrating our CommonLore Educators!

Celebrating our inaugural Cohort of K-16 and community-based educators! This summer marked our first gathering of Los Angeles area educators who spent a remarkable week together at CWI’s Summer WEST Institute, focused on developing community focused learning experiences, with the … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum Development, Elementary Education, Environmental Education, Ethnography, Higher Education, LA River, Los Angeles, Place Based Education, Professional Development, Reciprocity, School/Community Gardens, Secondary Education, Service-Learning, Sustainability, Teaching, Urban Education | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Building Community, One Student at a Time

Celebrating Our 22nd Year of Transformative Professional Development BY JOE BROOKS, Founder, Community Works Institute Each summer I have the pleasure to guide two of the longest running service-learning driven professional development events in the world, CWI’s Summer WEST, held … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum Development, Elementary Education, Environmental Education, Ethnography, Higher Education, LA River, Los Angeles, Place Based Education, Professional Development, Reciprocity, School/Community Gardens, Secondary Education, Service-Learning, Sustainability, Teaching, Urban Education | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What are Design Educators to do in an Election Season like this?

Design for Social Justice by Getting to Know Potential Users: Bullies, Teasers and Tormentors CWI is pleased to share an exceptional opportunity, courtesy of our partner Patty Kovic, Associate Professor at Otis College of Art and Design. Patty has developed … Continue reading

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LA RiverLore is Happening, Join Us!

LA RiverLore, a project of Community Works Institute (CWI), includes a multi-year teacher professional development and fellowship program, centered on deeply connecting students to their own local communities. Our shared pedagogy revolves around CWI’s focus on Place as the Context, … Continue reading

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CommonLore! a Professional Development Project in Real Time

 CommonLore! Students and Teachers Digging Deep Into the Community CommonLore is an exciting place based service-learning PD program, connecting communities through student ethnography projects. We are currently piloting CommonLore in Los Angeles, along with other urban and rural locations around … Continue reading

Posted in Curriculum Development, Elementary Education, Environmental Education, Ethnography, Higher Education, LA River, Los Angeles, Place Based Education, Professional Development, Service-Learning, Sustainability, Teaching, Urban Education | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment