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Service Learning Primer

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

How Do You Do It?

Preparation

Action

Reflection

Reflection Questions

Reflection Activities

Some Advice

Project Planning Sheet

Project Examples

 

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REFLECTION

Much of what we learn in life comes from reflecting on our experiences. Here is where we find probably the biggest difference between service learning and community service. Service learning requires that we provide structured time for students to think, talk, and write about what they did and observed during the service activity. Without reflection, we lose a great opportunity to maximize student learning.


Types of Reflection
There are several types of reflection that are useful to engage your students in:
   • Cognitive reflection examines the new knowledge and skills the students gain from their service experience. This includes the kind of learning that is addressed in the curriculum (math, science, writing, social studies, etc.).
   • Affective reflection looks at what students feel as a result of their experience. How has this experience changed their attitudes or opinions or sensitivities?
   • Process reflection considers what students learn from the process, itself. This includes things like how to work with others, and understanding the consequences of actions.

By engaging the students in all these different kinds of reflection, you can optimize the learning part of the service learning experience.

(Thanks to the Close Up Foundation for the ideas on this page.)

The next few pages will help you address this critically important element of your project.

                    

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