How to Implement Service-Learning in Your Classroom

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Description

Service-learning involves having learners meet goals while contributing to and giving back to their community. This often contains volunteer work, internships, and placements within the community where assistance is needed.

Advantages

  • Learners can increase their connection to the community.
  • Relationships between learning and life are made explicit in this sort of educational strategy.
  • Service-learning moves learning experiences from the theoretical to the practical.
  • Learners can come to see that they are connected to a broader ecosystem and that they have an essential part to play in serving that ecosystem for the good of all.

Disadvantages

  • Can be challenging to place all your learners in a service-learning placement if there are many learners to allocate.
  • May be impractical, given the safety and security requirements.

Implementation

  1. Prepare your learners in the classroom. Think about having organizers or community members come into the classroom to tell the learners what to expect.
  2. Have learners write preparatory notes about what they intend to learn, with whom they intend to talk, and what their day-by-day goals will be while doing the service-learning.
  3. Have learners complete their service-learning/voluntary work in groups or individually.
  4. Meet with the learners intermittently during the service-learning and have learner-instructor conferences on how it is progressing. Intervene where needed.
  5. Have learners come together at the end of the project to reflect on what was learned and how the comprehension of their position in the community has changed gradually over time. Discuss possible future engagement in the community to demonstrate that community involvement is an ongoing project.

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