ERIC Number: ED452425
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001
Integrating Youth Voice in Service-Learning. Learning in Deed Issue Paper.
Fredericks, Linda; Kaplan, Eve; Zeisler, Jennifer
Researchers have found that high-quality service learning programs are rich with benefits for schools, communities, and students. One hallmark of successful service learning programs is that they honor youth voice (meaning that they include young people in the creation and implementation of service opportunities). Elementary, middle, and high school students can all contribute meaningfully to their communities and shape service learning experiences with their ideas and insights. Because of the many benefits, many schools now strongly encourage or mandate service hours as a requirement for graduation. Research has identified strategies for overcoming the following challenges facing service learning: (1) not everyone shares the same definition of "youth voice"; (2) adults and young people have preconceived notions about one another's understanding of and capacity for a truly successful youth voice component; (3) not everyone in the organization buys into the concept or practice of youth voice or wants it incorporated; (4) youth voice often becomes merely the "tokenizing" of young people; (5) the teacher, educator, or other adult has difficulty relinquishing decision-making responsibilities to young people. (The strategies are included, along with six research-identified recommendations for adults, eight recommendations for policymakers, and seven recommendations for young people involved in service learning. The bibliography lists 47 references/resources and the World Wide Web addresses of 24 resource organizations.) (MN)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, Educational Benefits, Educational Change, Educational Needs, Educational Planning, Educational Policy, Educational Trends, Elementary Secondary Education, Enrollment Trends, Guidelines, Intergenerational Programs, Internet, Models, National Organizations, Participation, Participative Decision Making, Policy Formation, Position Papers, Program Development, Resource Materials, Service Learning, Strategic Planning, Student Attitudes, Student Participation, Student School Relationship, Teacher Student Relationship, Trend Analysis, Vocational Education, World Wide Web, Youth Programs
Education Commission of the States Distribution Center, 707 17th St., Suite 2700, Denver, CO 80202-3427; Tel: 303-299-3692 (No. SL-01-01; $4). For full text: http://www.stw.ed.gov/products/download/2963.pdf.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI.
Authoring Institution: Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO.
Note: Produced by the Education Commission of the States' Initiative Compact for Learning and Citizenship.