Service Learning Primer
TABLE OF CONTENTS
by David Elkind and Diana Flasher
Service learning is a form of project based learning
in which academic goals are accomplished through community service. Service
learning develops citizenship and good character, and provides a rich
context for academic instruction and student learning.
This primer is intended to provide guidance to school teachers and others who wish to
engage their students in service learning projects, but aren't sure exactly what to do or how to do it.
In a nutshell, a good service learning project should:
In a properly implemented service learning program the role of the teacher is more supportive and supervisory than directive. The teacher helps the students select an appropriate project, integrates the project into the curriculum, and guides the students through the necessary steps to completion. The teacher assures that activities are structured in ways that promote learning, monitors student activities, and facilitates students' reflection and analysis of their experiences. However, all adult functions should be performed in a manner that is appropriate for the age of the children, and should, as much as possible, encourage student autonomy and creativity.
Some activities, such as student mentoring or peer tutoring, can take place within your own school building. Others require getting the kids out into the larger community. Some may be one-time activities, while others occupy the whole school year or longer.
Included at the end of this primer are a number of examples of successful service learning projects for all age levels.
Want to know how to do it? Go on to the next page. And the next, etc.
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