ERIC Number: ED391953
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Feb
The Essentials of Service Learning.
Pittsburgh Univ., PA. School of Education.
Service learning links community service and volunteerism with academic learning. It is a collaborative effort that brings schools, community-based organizations, parents, and other community members together in a common enterprise of individual and community growth. Service learning is based on a number of existing links between schools and communities and can be traced to at least three sources: John Dewey, experiential learning, and citizenship education. Three concepts are important to enriching the relationship between curriculum and service. First, an organization's commitment to service learning is essential to linking service to the curriculum. Second, service learning is different at each level of education. Third, there must be a continuum of curriculum and service integration. The most effective service learning coordinators are flexible facilitators of change. They work to make service learning a core value in their organization, provide meaningful training for adult participants, create a service learning communication network, support teachers, and create an environment where students are equal partners. Effective collaborations have the following characteristics: strike a balance between partners, are ongoing, prepare participants for service, provide for clear and frequent communication, are supported by a strong advisory board, and focus on sharing. Service learning displays adaptability, durability, and flexibility. It can be recommended as a model of school change and teacher training. (YLB)
Descriptors: Career Education, Citizenship Education, Community Organizations, Community Services, Cooperative Programs, Coordination, Elementary Secondary Education, Program Development, Program Effectiveness, Program Implementation, School Community Relationship, Service Learning, State Programs, Student Participation, Student Volunteers
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Pennsylvania State Dept. of Education, Harrisburg.
Authoring Institution: Pittsburgh Univ., PA. School of Education.
Note: Prepared by the Pennsylvania Service Learning Evaluation Network.