“Lessons Learned”: Blog Theme for 2018-2019

At an institution like Duke, there are constant learning opportunities for students, staff and faculty. Even beyond the learning that takes place in the classroom or the lab, Duke offers an endless stream of workshops, symposia and forums addressing some of the world’s most pressing issues, led by some of the world’s most impressive scholars. The many resources and networks available at Duke provide space to think critically, absorb information and engage in thought-provoking conversation.

But what about the learning that takes place beyond Duke’s walls? What happens when we begin engaging directly with the big ideas we’re learning about? We may realize that we have blind spots, that we made inaccurate assumptions, or that there are challenges we didn’t even anticipate.

We often hear those involved in civic engagement efforts reflect, “I didn’t know what I didn’t know.” Only once they began did they realize what was missing from their preparation or what more they needed to learn. Since no amount of research can prepare us for every possible situation, civic engagement requires constant reflection and revision. What’s going well? What isn’t? Where might I have made a wrong turn? How do I adapt? Who else can I learn from?

Throughout the 2018-2019 academic year, we will be sharing guest blog posts from students, staff and faculty who will reflect on their own “lessons learned” throughout their civic engagement work. We are eager to learn from others and we invite you to reflect on their experiences as you prepare for your own.


If you have a story you’d like to share, please email lindsey.miller@duke.edu.