What is Service Learning?

Defining Service Learning
 Service-learning has been defined as both a program
                type and a philosophy of education.

    *  As a program type, service-learning includes myriad ways that
                          students can perform meaningful service to their communities and to
                          society while engaging in some form of reflection or study that is
                          related to the service.
    *  As a philosophy of education, service-learning reflects the belief
                          that education must be linked to social responsibility and that the
                          most effective learning is active and connected to experience in some

 In other words, according to the organization: Facing
                the Future, Service Learning is a "teaching tool that ties academic
                curriculum to a service project that both reinforces and expands students'
                learning. It is aimed at creating experiential education for young people
                so that they can connect the learning to their own lives and provide a benefit
                to the local or global community." (www.facingthefuture.org)
                Features Include:

   1.  Students, teachers and community partners develop learning
                          objectives that meet educational standards and address the change in
                          knowledge, skills and attitudes they expect to see as a result of the
                          service project.
   2.  The project addresses a real community need and is linked to learning
   3.  Students have an opportunity to reflect on and learn from their
                          project before, during and after their service.

 "Service-learning programs are explicitly
                structured to promote learning about the larger social issues behind the
                needs to which their service is responding. This learning includes a deeper
                understanding of the historical, sociological, cultural, economic and
                political contexts of the needs or issues being addressed." (Jane Kendall,
                NSEE, 1990)
 Teaching and advising, research and scholarship,
                outreach and the community can all be enhanced through student and faculty
                involvement in community service-learning. The goals are to involve
                students in the community, to get students into explorations of the
                workplace, to provide learning opportunities that integrate the skills
                learned in school with realities of community life.

Benefits of Service Learning


                Students benefit through:

    *  Hands-on skills/knowledge that increases relevance of academic
    *  Opportunities that accommodate different learning styles
    *  Interaction with people of diverse cultures and lifestyles
    *  Increased sense of self-efficacy, analytical skills, and social
    *  Valuable and competitive career guidance and experience
    *  Opportunities for meaningful involvement with the local community
                          Increased civic responsibility

                "It brings books to life and life to books"

                Faculty benefit through:
 Inspiration and invigoration of teaching
Increased student contact through greater emphasis
                on student-centered teaching
A new perspective on learning and an increased
                understanding of how learning occurs Connecting the community with
Becoming more aware of current societal issues as they
                relate to academic areas of interest
 Identifying areas for research and publication
                related to current trends and issues

                "It changes faculty role from the expert on top to the expert on

                The Community benefits through:
 Access to university resources
Positive relationship opportunities with the
Awareness-building of community issues, agencies,
                and constituents
Opportunities for contributing to the educational
Affordable access to professional
Short and long term solutions to pressing community

                "It shifts from community as laboratory to community as

                The School benefits through:
 Enhanced teaching, research and outreach
Faculty and student engagement in local and state
                community issues
Opportunities to extend university knowledge and
Positive community relationships
Increased development and preparation of university

                "It serves to light the fire rather than fill the bucket."               

Elements of Successful Service Learning Programs

 Service Learning consists of essential ideas listed
                below, adapted from Teachers Without Borders' partner,
                    New Horizons for Learning

 Service-learning activities establish clear
                educational goals that require the application of concepts, content, and
                skills from the academic disciplines, and the construction of one's own
 Students engage in tasks that challenge them
                cognitively and developmentally.
 Assessment is used to enhance student learning and to
                document and evaluate how well students have met content and skills

 Students engage in service tasks that have clear
                goals, meet genuine needs in the school or community and have significant
                consequences for themselves and others.
 Service-learning activities employ formative
                evaluation of the service effort and its outcomes.

                Critical Components that Support Learning and Service
 Service-learning activities maximize student
                participation in selecting, designing, implementing, and evaluating the
                service project.
 Service-learning activities value diversity in
                participants, practice, and outcomes.
 Service-learning activities promote communication
                and interaction with the community and encourage partnerships and
 Students prepare for all aspects of their service
                work, including getting a clear understanding of the task, assessing the
                skills and information required to complete the task, gaining an awareness
                of safety precautions, and accessing knowledge about and sensitivity to
 Student reflection takes place before, during, and
                after service; uses multiple methods to encourage critical thinking; and
                is central in the design and fulfillment of curricular objectives.
 Multiple methods are designed to acknowledge,
                celebrate, and validate student service work.



Faith (for Content):