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ERIC Number: EJ999944
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-1609-4913
The Application of Community Service Learning in Science Education
Ng, Betsy Ling-Ling
Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, v13 n2 Article 15 Dec 2012
Learning of science has been traditionally conducted in classrooms or in the form of lectures. Science education is usually context-specific learning as students are taught a particular module of content in class. In problem-based learning, they are provided with examples of problems in which they learn how to solve these types of problems. However, when students encounter a similar problem in a different context, they are unable to apply their prior knowledge to this new situation. The key components of authentic science learning are the external world and the individuals. Although the classroom aims to retain such authenticity by providing real-life problems to solve, it will never be the same as students' personal experiences in the real world--the community service learning (CSL). CSL integrates science learning into the real-world situations within a community context. It is one of the active learning strategies that aims to foster better understanding of course content and broader appreciation of the discipline. This CSL study focuses on the community service project and the individual critical reflection. CSL provides a real-life working environment that lead to excellent learning outcomes for the students as well as strengthens their individual social responsibility. This paper provides an example of the application of CSL within a tertiary institutional context. The CSL project involved student volunteers to set up a bioreactor for biogas supply within a local community of Chiang Rai, Thailand. In particular, it demonstrates students' reflection and their personal experiences in learning science beyond the classroom. Based on quantitative and qualitative data from 22 participants, it demonstrates the meaningful impact of CSL on student learning outcomes. Results show CSL creates an active yet meaningful learning of science and socially responsible citizens. Finally, this paper will also discuss the implications of learning science in an informal yet authentic context. (Contains 3 tables and 6 figures.)
Hong Kong Institute of Education. 10 Lo Ping Road, Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong. Tel: +011-852-2948-7650; Fax: +011-852-2948-7726; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore; Thailand