young people the joys of service to others, we make good citizenship a
vital, transforming and continuing aspect of our national character." ~
General Colin Powell
What is Service-Learning?
U.S. Senator and astronaut, John Glenn recently described service-learning
as "academics in action."
up a river is service.
Sitting in a science classroom, looking at water samples under a microscope
Students taking samples from local water sources, analyzing the samples,
documenting the results and presenting scientific findings to a local
pollution control agency is service-learning.
Service-learning is a method of teaching that enriches learning by engaging
students in meaningful service to their schools and their communities.
Through careful integration with established curricula, lessons gained from
hands-on service heighten interest and enhance academic achievement,
citizenship, and character development. Service-learning is a proven key to
educational reform that also makes significant contributions to community
development. (NYLC, 1994)
Service-learning is a philosophy, a community
development model and a teaching and learning method.
philosophy, service-learning embraces young people as a community
resource and asset. It views all people in a democratic society as
citizens with the capacity to contribute - no matter their age.
As a community development model, service-learning takes on real
issues such as pollution control, hunger and homelessness, and
diversity. Communities change for the better when service and learning
As a teaching and learning method, service-learning is a form of
active learning that values critical thinking and problem solving.
Research shows that when service-learning is effectively implemented
students gain in measures of academic achievement, citizenship, and
(James C. Kielsmeier, 2000)
© National Youth
Leadership Council, 2001.