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Benefits and Components of Service Learning
There are many benefits to incorporating Service-Learning into your academic courses as Service-Learning is a method of teaching and learning that enriches academic experiences and life-long learning by engaging students and faculty/staff in meaningful hands-on services in the community.
Key components to Service-Learning include:
- Connecting Service With Learning-Academically rigorous, meaningful service with a significant positive impact upon those involved.
- Reflection- Assessment of personal and community needs, reflection on participation, and evaluation of progress.
- Reciprocity-Both the student, faculty/staff and the community partner give and receive time, energy, knowledge and creativity.
- Critical Thinking- Involvement in situations conducive to creative, effective problem-solving.
- Social Responsibility-Expansion of student's, faculty/staff compassion, civic awareness, and desire to be engaged in the community.
- Experiential Learning- Use of direct experience and hands-on learning to develop skills useful in future careers, family life, and community involvement.
- Needs-Based- Project-based on community-identified needs.
*Content from Purdue University Libraries-2014
What is Academic Service Learning?
What it is...
- A pedagogy
- Enhances students understanding of the course learning goals
- A form of experiential education
- Meets community-identified needs
- Allows students to apply what they are learning in class in the community and learn while they are serving
- Focuses equally on learning and service
- Reciprocal and it benefits both the student and the service recipient
- Helps build partnerships between colleges and community-based organizations
- A dynamic educational strategy that combines community service with classroom instruction. Students learn civic responsibility and become active in their communities while applying what they have learned in real-world situations
- A teaching and learning strategy that integrates community service with instruction and reflection
- Enriches the learning experience, teaches civic responsibility and strenghtens communities
- Links course content with community issues
What it isn't...
- Internships, externships, clinicals, or field studied which focus on learning rather than service
- Volunteerism which focuses on service and the service recipient but not on students and learning
- Guest speakers, because the emphasis is on listening rather than doing and reflecting and then applying to what has been learned in class
- Free or convenient labor
- One-sided, benefitting only the students or the community
- Work for pay
- An "add-on"
- A stand-alone, one-tme project that does not relate to the course learning goals
Jim Dan Hill Library-University of Wisconsin-Superior (2014)
Monday - Friday: 8 am - 11 pm
Saturday: 1 pm - 7 pm
Sunday: 2 pm - 11 pm
Latest AACLU Report
A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy’s Future
"A Crucible Moment calls on educators and public leaders to advance a 21st century vision of college learning for all students—a vision with civic learning and democratic engagement an expected part of every student’s college education."