How Do I Plan My Service-Learning Project?
Service-learning is relatively easy to initiate in a classroom if you understand the underlying concepts of service-learning and are open to the opportunities that present themselves. There are five steps in the initiation of a successful service-learning unit. These steps include brainstorming, focusing, implementing, evaluation and reflecting.
To start a service-learning unit in your classroom first look at your community. This could be your school, your neighborhood, your city or a larger area such as a state, nation or the world. What needs can you identify that might be met while studying a particular subject you teach or in developing a skill for which you are responsible? Use your textbooks; look at issues that are covered in the local media; talk with the students in your room. At this point, do not restrict or eliminate any suggestion. This is the brainstorming phase.
Next, examine each idea. Will it solve a real need that is not already being met in some other way? Will both your students and those being served benefit from the process? Is it possible to do considering the limitations and the resources you have available? Talk with your colleagues, agencies and parents. Modify the idea! Shape it! This part we call focusing.
Once the idea is fully developed, implement it.
Successful units include two more elements: evaluation and reflection. During the evaluation phase students, the teacher and those being served examine the planning process, the procedures used and the result s and make suggestions of how to improve the unit if it is to be attempted again.
Reflection allows the students to focus on what they have accomplished. Students think about the impact they have had on those being served and how their own attitudes and behavior have changed. Reflection also gives the students an opportunity to explore how they feel about what they have accomplished.
The Best Service-Learning Programs: