“They stress the importance of compassion for those in need, and they encourage children and young adults to find ways to help” (3).
The authors of this article did a study on the impact service learning has in K-12 classrooms. The two projects they highlighted were different, one being focused on giving charity, the other focusing on promoting change. However, any kind of service learning is better than no service learning. I think that it is essential for young people to be exposed to the idea of helping out the less fortunate. I think that it makes young people more conscious about the world and diversity around them as they grow up and become more independent.
“By engaging in meaningful service--whether tutoring children for whom English is a second language, helping patients in a hospital, doing difficult chores for the elderly, or supervising younger children's recreational activities--students will have opportunities to experience what David Hornbeck, former Maryland state superintendent referred to as ‘the joy of reaching out to others’” (5).
I think it is interesting that these aspects of service learning were mentioned. I think the authors may have done so because these are examples almost every community could use. I think Rhode Island has many great volunteer opportunities. As a middle or high school level student it would probably be easy to volunteer to help younger students, as many may have siblings of a similar age. Also, everyone has elderly living in their area, and I think that really great bonds could be made between students and the elderly. I also agree, as the article points out a few times, that students feel satisfied when they help their community.
”Rather than tie the service curriculum exclusively to moral development, some advocates of service learning talk about developing citizens for our democracy” (8).
When reading this quote, I was like what a great idea! My inner history teacher thought of a million lessons that could go along with this idea that we should be good citizens by performing duties for “America”. As I read on, I felt that it could be dangerous and it does suggest a political agenda that I may not want in my classroom. Then I thought of a few ways I could flip this to turn in into a whole other assignment about politicians in society and why they choose to promote certain values.
Here are some interesting statistics...
Things to discuss: What were my class mates school’s policies on service learning? What were some positive/negative experiences?