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Implementation of a Service Learning Project

Page history last edited by dal.edwards86@... 13 years, 10 months ago



"We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give." 


          Winston Churchill

          Wartime British Prime Minister, 1940-1945





Training Modules




    NC Social Studies

            Standard Course of Study 










Once initiated, service learning, much like the garden flower above, requires nurture for sustainability.  Though noble, service Learning is not just the act of volunteering or community service.  Rather, service learning is a teaching and learning strategy that harnesses the potential of community-based experiences with a link to academic knowledge and skills.  Such learning should not be considered an addition or on the periphery of a course.  Instead, it should be carefully implemented into the standard course of study.  Consequently, when course content is connected to civic learning, students should recognize the public purposes of social studies as a discipline and the responsibilities of professionals within their community as citizens.  Academic rigor should not be compromised when service-learning is integrated into a course. 


Because service-learning is a partnership process, which demands reciprocal relationships between the school, student, and community, the experience, as mentioned in the previous module, should be well planned.  Such planning is essential when implementing a potentially transformational learning experience. 


The National Youth Leadership Council lists eight characteristics of a quality service project:  students should have a strong voice in the learning process; service should be meaningful; it should be linked to the curriculum/standards; there should be a time for reflection; learning should promote empathy for diversity; effective partnerships; progress is closely monitored; and a project should have duration and intensity.  Use these characteristics as a template for implementing your own quality service learning program.   


  Essential Question--Implementation


  • What types of service learning projects can best be implemented in the your social studies classroom?  How? 

      Resource Links--Implementation


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • Service Learning=Solutions Blog  Learn and Serve America's National Service Learning Clearinghouse sponsors this blog for public discourse on trends, implementation, stories, advice, and student success in the use of service learning in the classroom.
  • Youth Service America  YSA is an international nonprofit resource center whose mission is to increase the impact of youth service.  The vision of the organization is the creation of "a global culture of engaged youth who are committed to a lifetime of service, leadership and achievement".  The site has a variety of resources on topics such as civil rights, disaster relief, global citizenship, and poverty.
  • McPherson, "Service Learning", New Horizons for Learning   New Horizons for Learning was founded in 1980 as an organization for "identifying, communicating, and helping to implement more effective ways of learning at all ages and abilities".  The organization officially ended in September 2006, but the website can still be accessed.  This particular article written by Kate McPherson disucsses the application of service learning.  Other scholarly articles on service learning and special education, global issues, and the "Giraffe Heroes Project" are linked to this site.
  • LearnNC--Oral History and Student Learning  Oral History coupled with service learning engages and connects students with the social studies curriculum.  The following site offers explanations as to how and why oral history projects are relevant for the social studies.
  • 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.
  • Learn and Serve America--Service Learning and Historic Preservation 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. This particular link supports the use of historic preservation in the social studies service learning classroom.
  • The Corporation for National and Community Service   The Corporation for National and Community Service is the nation's largest grantmaker in support of service and volunteering.  Senior Corps, Americorps, and Learn and Serve America are all Corporation programs which provide volunteering efforts designed to meet community needs.
  • APPLES--UNC Service Learning Program  APPLES represents Assisting People in Planning Learning Experiences in Service.  The University of North Carolina organization is student led and consenus driven.  Its purpose is to meet the needs of the community, enhance academic curriculum with service, promote serious reflection of service projects, and ultimately help students learn through active participation within their community.
  • Timber Creek High School--Service Learning Academy   Located in Orlando, Florida, Timber Creek High School Service Learning Academy integrates service learning in all academic disciplines and between curriculums through interdisciplinary projects.  The school and their website demonstrate how service learning can transform students, a school, and a community.
  • Learn and Serve America--SLICE--Service Learning Ideas and Curriculum Examples 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.  SLICE offers Service Learning Ideas and Curriculum Examples. 
  • Education Commission of the States--Implementation  ECS was designed as a forum for state collaboration in the exchange of educational ideas and strategic thinking.  The goal of the organization, then, is to serve as a resource for states to learn from each other in an effort to improve instruction and learning.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Duke Center for Instructional Technology--Service Learning & Technology  The Duke Center for Instructional Technology (CIT) "supports the academic mission of Duke University by helping instructors find innovative ways to use technology to achieve their teaching goals."  This site offers an article on using technology  to enhance service learning.



     Podcasts of Implementation





     A View of Implementation


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Other Video Links--Implementation


  Primary Document Connection--Implementation


After starting a service learning project, you will have to consider maintaining the momentum generated at the beginning of the project.  Difficulties should be anticipated.  Consider using primary documents and a conceptual lens of perseverance in support of the NC Standard Course of Study in the Social Studies and your service learning project.  In what specific ways did the author of this document persevere despite personal difficulties?  How does the author effectively address their difficulties?


           Wordle: "What to a Slave is the Fourth of July?" Frederick DouglassWordle: "What to a Slave is the Fourth of July?" Frederick Douglass


  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--Implementation (Available Spring 2011)


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