Service Learning is the process of integrating community service and the academic curriculum to improve critical reflective thinking and civic responsibility. Service Learning initiatives involves students in course activities which address real human, safety, educational, and environmental needs of the community in which they use course materials such as texts, lectures, discussions, and reflection to inform their service. Ultimately, the service experience is brought back to the classroom to inform the academic dialogue and the quest for knowledge.
What are the Characteristics of Service Learning?
According to the National Commission on Service learning, service learning:
- Links to academic content and standards
- Involves students in helping to determine and meet real, defined community needs
- Is reciprocal in nature, benefiting both the community and the service providers by combining a service experience with a learning experience
- Can be used in any subject area so long as it is appropriate to learning goal.
Alexis Gray, Ph.D.
Service Learning Coordinator, Norco College
Associate Professor, Anthropology
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