Benefits of Service-Learning

If we are to create peace in our world, we must begin with our children.

- Mahatma Gandhi -


Service-learning is an educational method that combines service objectives with learning objectives with the intent that the activity changes both the recipient and the provider of the service. This is accomplished by combining service tasks with structured opportunities that link the task to self-reflection, self-discovery,          and the acquisition and comprehension of values, skills, and knowledge content.

Through service-learning programs, students may:

Improve academic knowledge and performance
• Are more accepting of diversity – across generations, cultures, perspective and abilities
• Develop ability to work well with others
• Experience reciprocity and more apt to act responsibly and feel comfortable helping others
• Replace stereotypes with respect for others
• Increase self esteem and trust in peers and adults
• Make an easier transition to adulthood

Through service-learning programs, teachers may:

• Increase the relevancy of education for students
• Identify resources to enhance educational opportunities for students
• Bring the classroom and community together
• Participate in professional development and become mentors for other teachers
• Feel inspired professionally and personally

Through service-learning programs, schools can:

• Combine academic development with civic and social responsibility
• Develop community partnerships
• Publicize educational opportunities available for students
• Develop a more inclusive and cooperative school climate and culture
• Invite students to become active community members

Through service-learning programs, communities can:

• Increase resources to address problems and concerns
• Participate in student learning
• Publicly acknowledge the contributions of young people

 

In an article in the Harvard Education Letter, Sen. John Glenn writes:

“Some critics of service-learning believe that schools step over the line by teaching civic values – that they should stick to the barest of the basics. They fail to understand that service-learning abets classroom learning in a very pragmatic way. There’s an old Chinese proverb that goes:

I hear and I forget.
I see and I remember.
I do and I understand.”

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