ERIC Number: ED445876
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999
Service Learning: A Strategy for Rural School Improvement and Community Revitalization. (Benefits)[Squared]: The Exponential Results of Linking School Improvement and Community Development, Issue Number Two.
The future of rural schools is inextricably linked to the future of their surrounding communities, and service learning is a powerful tool for capitalizing on those links. Service learning makes students active participants in service projects that respond to community needs while furthering the academic goals of students. Service learning projects are enormously varied and may address community needs related to health, poverty, social issues, or the environment. Although most projects are implemented in the middle or high school grades, elementary school students can benefit as well. For service learning to be effective, it must be integrated into the school's ongoing curriculum, and the teacher must identify the academic objectives to be addressed through the activity. The teacher's role must change to being an organizer or facilitator, and school schedules and rules must become more flexible to accommodate service learning activities. All school and community participants should agree beforehand on an activity's basic purpose. Service learning benefits students by providing authentic learning relevant to daily life and work, promoting social values and good citizenship, teaching work skills, and improving critical thinking and self-esteem. Various examples of rural service learning projects are described, and five information resources are profiled. (SV)
Descriptors: Active Learning, Community Development, Elementary Secondary Education, Rural Schools, School Community Relationship, Service Learning, Student Development, Student Projects, Teacher Role
Full text at Web site: http://www.sedl.org/prep/benefits2/issue2.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Southwest Educational Development Lab., Austin, TX.