What is Service-Learning?
What is Service-Learning? Service-learning combines service to the community with student learning in a way that improves both the student and the community. According to the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993, service-learning:
Service-learning is a blending of both service and learning goals in such a way that both occur at the same time and are enriched and supported by one another. Service-learning seems to be one of those rare education models that enable all of the participants to be winners.
Service-learning is not a new idea. John Dewey wrote that actions directed toward the welfare of others stimulate academic and social development. William Kirkpatrick in the 1930s "Project Method" argued that learning should take place in a setting outside of school and involve efforts to meet real community needs. With national legislation passed in the early 1990s, community service and especially community service tied to the existing school curricula began to rise.
In the media we often hear about
gangs, drug usage, teenage pregnancies, high drop out rates and the
alienation of today's youth. Early involvement in service-learning
opportunities teaches young people that they can make a difference in
this world. They have talents, capacities, compassion and enthusiasm
that are not utilized in most school settings. Students engaged in a
service-learning activity can no longer be viewed as passive
recipients of education, but must be viewed as competent producers
and willing contributors.
Videos Introducing S-L
Bringing Learning to Life: This 8-minute video produced by Learn and Serve, introduces you to the basics of S-L with examples and interviews from around the U.S.
Learning Park: Service-Learning: This 19-minute video, produced by local public television station Twin Cities Public Television, goes into more depth, looking at S-L from both the school and community partner perspectives.