Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Service Learning Tips

Schoenfeld, Robert (2006). Service- Learning: Bringing Together Students, Parents, and Community to Create a Better World. New Horizons for Learning Journal, 1-6.


Robert Schoenfeld uses this article as a springboard for teachers who are considering Service Learning Projects, but need advice on completing first steps. Schoenfeld defines Service Learning as "a method of teaching and learning that enriches the student's life by engaging him/ her in meaningful hands- on service to address real- life needs." He also insists that when students are responsible for choosing the "real- life needs," the culminating project becomes much more engaging and meaningful. There are 7 main components of Service Learning: Connecting service with learning, reflection, civic engagement, working as a team, experiential learning, journaling and celebration. When service learning embodies all of these ideas, it becomes truly impactful, carrying a lasting effect.
The article also mentions first steps in getting started on Service Learning Projects. The author insists that dividing the students into sub- groups is more affective in getting things accomplished. Those sub- groups are then responsible for researching issues they are most passionate about.
While he does give some ideas for projects, they are very simplistic in their design and scope. The projects he suggests are more about learning of the community needs rather than developing solutions to help remedy and eradicate them.

Quotes: "Ask the parents to get involved by engaging their child in conversation about needs in the community, and by discussing and researching with their child avenues for meeting those needs."

"Service-Learning is a method of teaching and learning that enriches the student's life by engaging him/her in meaningful hands-on service to address real-life needs in the community while also gaining valuable knowledge and skills that connect with classroom studies."

"The best way to get the student excited about the Service-Learning project is to involve them with researching and choosing the project."


Grimm, R, Dietz, N, Spring, K, Arey, K, Foster-Bey, J. (2005 September) Youth helping youth. Corporation for National and Community Service, Learn and Serve.

Meyer, Hofschire, and Billings. (2004) The impact of service-learning on student achievement, A statewide study of Michigan Learn and Serve grantees. RMC Research.

Astin, A. W., Sax, L. J., & Avalos, J. (1999). The long-term effects of volunteerism during the undergraduate years. The Review of Higher Education, 21 (2): 187-202.

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