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Benefits of Service Learning

Page history last edited by dal.edwards86@... 10 years, 4 months ago

 

 “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” 

 

                          

Horace Mann, to the Antioch Univeristy graduating class of 1859

 

  Training Modules

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

NC Social Studies Standard Course of Study 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

The National Council for the Social Studies proclaimed in 1992 that "the primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world."  Service learning can develop the proper empathy and community engagement necessary for fulfillment of that purpose.  

 

Research supports that when service learning is tied to a standard course of study and classroom academic objectives, young people make gains on achievement tests, take a deeper interest in completing their homework, and improve their grade-point average. 

 

Service learning also cultivates those skills necessary for democratic citizenship in a more interconnected world. Communication skills through personal interviews or volunteerism, as well as, interpretation and analytical skills through independent research should improve as students investigate what it means to be an engaged citizen.  Student pride and confidence should progress as they reflectively explore their place in and contribution to their community. 

 

Students should become better problem solvers as they address real world questions and issues as they plan and implement a service learning project--What problems can realistically be addressed?  How can I best help solve this problem?  Who in my community can help with this process?  How can I find and contact these people?  How can I compromise when problems arise?  How and why is my role in confronting this issue significant?

 

Ultimately, students should leave school with a better view of their rights and responsibilities as citizens. Through a well planned service learning experience in the social studies, students should become more aware of their own capacities and hopefully grow to appreciate that an individual can and should make a positive difference in their community.  

 

 


Essential Question--Benefits

 

  • How and why could students, teachers, and the community benefit from a service learning project?

 

  Resource Links--Benefits

 

  • NCSS Policy Statement on Service Learning   The National Council for the Social Studies is the largest association in the country devoted to social studies education.  NCSS membership represents K-12 classroom teachers, college and university faculty members, curriculum coordinators, social studies supervisors and leaders in all of the social studies disciplines.  This policy statement rationalizes why service learning is essential for learning in the social studies classroom.
  • National Service Learning Partnership A network of over 10,000 members--students, parents, policy makers, community leaders, business people, and educational specialists-- dedicated to the use of service learning in the classroom.  The Partnership is funded through grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and State Farm Companies Foundation.  It is sponsoered by the Adacemy for Educational Development.
  • Jumpstart and Service Learning  Jumpstart was originally founded at Yale University in 1993 as a non-profit organization focused on the public need for quality early childhood programs and the nation’s growing commitment for service education.  Jumpstart collaborated with scholars Patti Clayton and Myra Moses in developing a service learning resource guide located in section II of this website.  This guide offers a path for institutions of higher education to implement a service learning program into a wide range of disciplines.  The guide provides structure and advice in promoting the value of civic engagement, leadership and service to students.  Dr. Clayton and Dr. Moses currently direct the Center for Curricula Engagement at N.C.State University.
  • Coalition of Essential Schools Northwest Service Learning Network  The CES Service Learning Network goals include implementation of service learning across all of the core disciplines. The CES Network includes hundreds of schools that reflect "personalization, democracy and equity, and intellectual vitality and excellence".  These essential schools focus on effective practices in standards-aligned interdisciplinary studies, community-based learning and performance based assessment.   This site would be an excellent resource in the understanding of each of the NC Service Learning modules.
  • Educational Commission of the States NCLC Service Learning Advocacy Paper   This paper by the Educational Commission of the States' (ECS) National Center for Learning and Citizenship (NCLC) provides a framework for integrating and sustaining service learning successfully.  According to the ECS/NCLC this framework for effective service learning consists of vision and leadership, curriculum and assessment, community-school partnerships, professional development and continuous improvement.  This paper intends to enlighten all educational stakeholders in current service learning research and how to best utilize such research within the framework for effective service learning.
  • Service Learning You Tube Channel  This site is co-hosted by YouTube and the National Service Learning Partnership for promotion of service learning in the classroom.  Current examples of service learning ideas and stories are available for viewing.  Teachers are also free to subscribe to the site for email updates of service learning video clips. 
  • Learn and Serve America--Benefits  Learn and Serve America's National Service Learning Clearinghouse (NSLC) touts itself as "America's Most Comprehenive Service Learning Resource".  NSLC supports all levels of education interested in strengthening the relationship between communities and schools through service learning strategies.  This website shares timely service learning information, as well as, discussion lists that encourage collaboration of educators and students on the issues of service education. 
  • National Youth Leadership Council  The mission of the National Youth Leadership Council is to "create a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world with young people, their schools, and their communities through service learning".  The NYLC promotes civic awareness and engagement through critical thinking and problem solving. 
  • NCSS Policy Statement on Effective Citizens   An essential goal of an effective social studies classroom, as well as, a sustaining service learning project is the creation of effective citizenship.  This policy statement by the National Council fo the Social Studies outlines why education within a social studies class should promote engaged citizenship.
  • Keene State College Service Learning Wiki   Keene State College, as a public liberal arts college of New Hampshire, adheres to the integration of "teaching, learning, scholarship and service."  This wiki site was developed as part of a service learning project using material provided by the college's Office of Service Learning.  The Wiki provides advice and a tool for online collaboaration of students, faculty and community agencies in implementing a service learning project. 
  • Colorado Department of Education-Service Learning Trail Guide  The Colorado Department of Education has approved a service learning trail guide for interested educators and students to follow.  Supported by Learn and Serve America, the Corporation for National and Community Service, and the National Youth Leadership Council, the trail guide is divided into three major components--a section devoted to research linking service learning and high performing schools, descriptions and snapshots of service learning "in action", and a resource list for starting and implementing a service learning project.
  • Wade, ed. "Building Bridges: Connecting Classroom and Community throught Service Learning in the Social Studies", NCSS Bulletin 1997    Edited by Rahima Wade, this 1997 bulletin of the National Council for the Social Studies focuses on the connections between the community and curriculum through sevice learning. This bulletin specifically empasizes why social studies is a natural outlet for service learning considering the discipline's emphasis on civic education.  There are specific grade level examples of social studies and service learning.  This document offers a firm understanding of the rewards service education potentially offers students, the school, and the community.
  • Center for Civic Education   The Center for Civic Education is a non-profit, non-partisan education corporation that promotes "enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy".  Many programs focus on civic participation and the rights and responsibilities of citizens--major components of service learning.
  • "Service Learning Stimulates the Brain"   This blog by professor Jyotsna Sawhney highlights the research of Dr. Elaine Johnson, the director of MBM Associates and an adjunct professor of English at Marylhurst University.  Dr. Johnson's research shows how the brain's function and structure influence student learning and emphasizes that the brain's demand for meaning should be the primary concern of teachers.  She is an advocate of service learning for those reasons. 

    A View of Benefits

 

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 Primary Document Connection--Benefits

 

Primary sources provide a more direct window into understanding how past events and people compare over time and impact the present.  Because the analysis of primary resources promotes engagement and active inquiry, such resources can also be used to supplement the service learning experience. Service learning implies citizenship, service, sacrifice, engagement,  and responsibility.  The following links to primary documents offer some suggestions as to how these concepts can support the North Carolina Standard Course of Study in social studies, as well as, the student's service learning experience.  How do these documents directly or indirectly imply the benefits of service?  What other concepts do you think service-learning suggests? What other primary resources in support of the NC Standard Course of Study do you feel also support service learning?

 


  North Carolina Service Learning Social Network

 

The NC Service Learning Social Network is designed to be an online collaborative professional learning community (PLC) for integration of service learning in the social studies.  Through forum questioning, blogs, and online shared resources, the social studies section at the Department of Public Instruction hopes that social networking makes service learning a more accessible, manageable, and integral part of the North Carolina social studies classroom.

 


  Professional Development--Benefits (Available Spring 2011) 

 

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