Challenges and Advice in Service Learning


“The great aim and end of all learning is service.” 

                            Ben Franklin



Training Modules











    NC Social Studies Standard Course of Study 









Tick, tick, tick.  "I don't have time to teach this course", becomes the age old argument of many social studies teachers. Again, service learning should not be considered an additional element of the classroom, it should become the classroom.  Thus, finding time at the beginning of the school year to plan and implement a service learning project is a necessity and a good investment for sustainability of the project.  Service learning should be an avenue to teach the standard course of study, not an additional hindrance in "completing" the course.


Teachers find comfort in a certain amount of control in their classrooms and students often want immediate answers to questions that will surface.  A classroom with an integrated service learning component challenges traditional elements of a social studies classroom.  Learning will come in non-traditional ways and places, as students learn about their community outside of school and possibly with the use of online technology.  Teachers should be flexible in giving up some amount of control and allowing students to explore answers to civic minded questions, as well as, questions about their own learning.  When students see the content and skill connections through active and reflective means, they typically embrace the challenges of service.  Teachers, through proper planning and time invested should see students grow and learn in different ways.


  Essential Questions--Challenges and Advice


     Resource Links--Challenges and Advice



     Podcasts on Challenges and Advice



  Primary Document Connection--Challenges and Advice


     The following pairs of documents demonstrate opposing points of view on the same issue.  You will probably find that starting and sustaining a service learning project will be challenging.  Use these documents to teach and learn about the concepts of challenge, conflict, cooperation, and the need to, ultimately, compromise.  After researching the proper historical context of the document and its relevance to the standard course of study, use essential questions to guide your student's understanding of the documents: What were the differences of opinon expressed within and between these documents?  Why do you think this particular issue created varying points of view?  Do the different points of view demonstrate the potential for conflict or cooperation?  Do you anticipate a compromise over their differences?  In what ways do these points of view demonstrate similar differences within your service learning project?  How can your own challenges be met?







  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--Challenges and Advice (Available Spring 2011)