What is Service Learning?
Service learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.
Service-Learning, Schools, and the Common Core State Standards*
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) provide a framework of the academic knowledge and skills that all students need in order to be ready for college and career success upon leaving high school.
Service-learning is a particularly effective strategy for accomplishing the goals of the CCSS for many reasons, including the opportunity to use critical thinking and collaboration to address real-world issues. Service-learning goals parallel CCSS and the student-driven stages of the service-learning process prepare students with skills for college and career.
What are the Benefits of Service Learning to Students, Schools and the Community?*
- 21st century skills: critical-thinking, problem-solving, leadership, decision-making, collaboration, and communication.
- Real-world experience connected to academic subjects.
- Greater sense of the purpose for learning.
- Deeper understanding of themselves and empathy and respect for others.
- Opportunities to explore skills and interests and to network for career readiness.
- Guided practice in taking action as socially responsible global citizens.
- Increased self-efficacy as they address community needs.
- Deeper connection between academic knowledge and real-world applications.
- Increased pro-social behavior and student engagement.
- An effective drop-out prevention strategy.
- A focus for school improvement.
- Improved school climate.
- Positive school-community relationships.
- Energy and creativity of youth in addressing community needs.
- Opportunities to build positive relationships between community members and schools.
- New perspectives on youth as assets, not liabilities.
- New generation of caring and experienced citizens, activists and volunteers - tomorrow's civic leaders.
- Increased public awareness of key issues.