This material is replicated on a number of sites as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service Project
What is Service-Learning?"Service-learning is an experiential teaching method that combines community service with academic instruction as it focuses on critical, reflective thinking and civic responsibility. Service-learning programs involve students in organized community service that addresses local needs, while developing their academic skills, sense of civic responsibility and commitment to the community." Campus Compact National Center for Community Colleges as cited in www.apa.org/eduction/undergrad/service-learning.aspx.
Service-learning is a flexible pedagogy that can make use of varied service opportunities, be used in a variety of classroom settings, and support numerous learning outcomes. Essential elements of effective service-learning practice include well-defined learning goals, meaningful service activities, and critical reflection activities which support both service and learning goals.
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Why Use Service-Learning?Service-learning promotes a deep approach to learning. Students learn how to turn factual knowledge into usable knowledge. Service-learning also provides a variety of academic, social and civic benefits for students, faculty, community members, and academic institutions.
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How to Use Service-Learning?Creating a successful service-learning course involves pre-planning and preparation, designing and implementing a service experience, learning through reflection,and assessment. The principles of good practice in community service-learning pedagogy can help guide the development of service-learning exercises into your class.
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- Bibliography of useful books and articles about service-learning
- Examples of ways to use service-learning courses in your classroom
- Related Links:
- Service Learning module from On the Cutting Edge - information and examples aimed at geoscience courses, but relevant across many disciplines.
- Service Learning page from InTeGrate - information about interdisciplinary teaching about Earth for a sustainable future.
- Related Pedagogy: Campus-based learning
- Related Pedagogy: Experience-based learning