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ERIC Number: EJ893706
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 8
ISSN: ISSN-1683-1381
Role of Service Learning in Water Quality Studies
Richards, Wilfred Sugumar
New Horizons in Education, v57 n3 p82-90 Dec 2009
Background: Chemistry students often complain that they are unmotivated because they see no applications of chemical principles in "real life." It was thus decided to put into use the knowledge gained during the course on water quality and analysis. Learning the principles of quantitative chemical analysis requires innovative, hands-on laboratory experiences that would challenge students to think independently about a problem. Aims: The water project selected by the Department of Chemistry was meant to serve two purposes. One of the objectives of the programme is to increase student interest and critical thinking skills while reinforcing the concepts learnt in the classroom. The second objective is to remind the students of the benefits derived from the society. With a view to enrich the moral and civic values inherent in serving others, this project was integrated into community service to form a package called "Service Learning" and this package formed a part of the curriculum. Sample: A community pond near the College was chosen for its restoration and the local residents were made partners of this project. Method: The students first interacted with the community and got their views and concurrence regarding the restoration of pond ecosystem. Then the pond water was analysed for the physical and chemical parameters and on the basis of the result, restoration process was carried out. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the service-learning component, students were surveyed at the end of the semester about their service-learning experiences. Result: The students with the help of local community and the municipal authorities were able to completely restore the quality of the pond water. The students responded very favorably to the service learning programme involving the water project. The programme, in the opinion of the students was both challenging and time consuming. The service-learning project achieved the educational objectives of requiring the students to think critically and work as a team. Almost all students agreed they had learned more about course concepts as a result of their service-learning experience, and the majority felt their service-learning activity provided a needed service to the community. Conclusion: It was observed that effectively linking service-learning to course content not only offered students a powerful opportunity to maximize academic learning, but also promoted their personal growth and instilled a commitment to lifelong, civic engagement. (Contains 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India