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ERIC Number: ED498997
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jul
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Service Learning in Undergraduate Education: Where Is It Going? Carnegie Perspectives
Ehrlich, Tom
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
Reflecting upon the previous decade, an advocate for service-learning continues his call for institutional responsibility while taking a look at the progress made. Ehrlich writes that service learning has come of age and suggests three major directions for continued advancement. The first stresses service-learning's value for enhancing academic learning, including both deeper understanding in the full range of disciplines and in professional preparation as well as the cross-cutting goals of liberal education, such as developing an inquiring mind and a liberal imagination. Community service that is integrated into an undergraduate curriculum enables students to connect thought and feeling, creating a context in which students can explore how they feel about what they are thinking and what they think about how they feel, offering opportunities to consider what is important, and why. A second direction is pursued by faculty who use service-learning primarily as a vehicle to promote the skills and knowledge needed for leadership, emphasizing that the knowledge and skills of leadership are best gained in a real-world environment, where students can practice and where effective leaders can be observed first hand. A third direction, civic engagement, concentrates on tying academic study to volunteer activities such as cleaning up a park, tutoring a child, or serving in a community kitchen. These programs have been shown to contribute to a greater sense of civic responsibility, although focus on community engagement is insufficient preparation for active citizenship if not accompanied by experiences that support more systemic political or policy-related understanding and engagement. Ehrlich advocates that service-learning can and should serve all three of the functions discussed and that, unless to strengthen all of these important dimensions of undergraduate learning, full potential of a powerful pedagogy has yet to be experienced.
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. 51 Vista Lane, Stanford, CA 94305. Tel: 650-566-5102; Fax: 650-326-0278; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Menlo Park, CA.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A