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ERIC Number: EJ853001
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-1536-3031
A Service-Learning Exercise in Building Civil Engagement in Teacher Education
Moguel, David L.
Issues in Teacher Education, v12 n2 p25-40 Fall 2003
Service learning can be a vehicle to promote democracy in the teacher education classroom. Incorporating service learning into a teacher education program is an uphill battle: teacher candidates lead complicated lives with professional and family responsibilities, some continue long-standing volunteer commitments to their communities, and course syllabi are already stretched to the limit with other requirements and reforms. There seems to be no time and space left to require teacher candidates to perform "community service." Because the will and interest to serve seem to be missing also, there is some controversy. Many teacher candidates and their instructors see aspects of teaching as an act of public service, so any additional service requirements seem excessive. This article addresses some compelling problems of building democracy and doing service learning in the context of teacher education. The article looks at the outcomes of a service learning exercise within a teacher education course, drawing primarily from the written reflections of the teacher candidates who complete the exercise. The main question is: "How has one social studies methods course used service learning to learn and teach about building a sense of civic engagement, democratic participation, and social responsibility?" The answer to the question has interesting implications for teacher education having to do with the teaching of social studies, particularly government and civics. A traditional and familiar approach to teaching government in elementary and secondary schools consists of teaching about three branches of government, the system of checks and balances, and "how a bill becomes a law." The reflections of the teacher candidates in this course, however, argue for an alternative, possibly much more interesting and engaging approach addressing more fundamental principles of civic engagement and participation that originally led to the establishment of democracy in this country. (Contains 4 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California