Service Learning K-12 Service-Learning & Effective Instructional Strategies
s-l is an instructional method that: • develops 21st century skills, including critical thinking, problem solving, communication, teamwork, creativity, information literacy, and action planning that prepares students to compete in a global economy; • is integrated intentionally into students’ academic curriculum;
s-l is an instructional method that: • lets students learn and develop by actively participating in meeting community needs via school-community collaborations; • uses regular assessment to engage in data-based decision making and continuous growth and development.
Service-Learning is . . . a teaching and learning strategy integrating meaningful community service with academic study and reflective practice to enrich learning, build civic engagement, and strengthen communities Adapted from Learning in Deed: The Power of Service-Learning for American Schools, A Report from the National Commission on Service-Learning, 2002
Service-learning is not: • An episodic volunteer program • Completing minimum service hours in order to satisfy a class or graduation requirement • Service assigned as a form of punishment • One-sided: benefiting only students or only the community
Brief Before Launch Service-Learning is a teaching strategy, not a program. High quality service-learning does not happen by accident or in isolation. Service-learning must incorporate lessons learned from educational research.
Education is Changing (Wellman & Lipton, 2003, p. 2)
Effective Instructional Strategies Service- Learning • Through service-learning, students delve deeper into fewer topics, allowing them to • learn and integrate knowledge more fully. • Weedthe Garden: • Students are able to perform at a higher level academically when curriculum is deeper in content
Effective Instructional Strategies Service- Learning Students identify a community need and carry out a project designed to address that need; to do so, they integrate critical thinking skills and meaningfully interact with knowledge and concepts. • Inquiry Teaching & Higher-Level Thinking • Involving students in posing questions, analyzing data, and developing conclusions or generalizations moves their learning to a higher level.
Effective Instructional Strategies Service- Learning Students are actively engaged in (1) what they need to learn, (2) how to learn & apply concepts by connecting the learning to a project they care about. • Active Engagement • When students are active in (1) learning and (2) assessment, mastery of academic skills increases along with motivation & self- responsibility.
What About Dropouts? • S-L is a strategy for dropout prevention1. • S-L is important to • Academic Engagement & Achievement • School & Work Connections, • Adult & Student relationships, • Communication, Career & Essential Skills, • Community & Civic Engagement
Effective Instructional Strategies Service- Learning • Youth Voice: • S-L provides a strong Youth Voice in planning, implementing, and evaluating • service - learning • experiences with guidance from • adults. • Student Ownership: • Students learn more when they feel personally invested in the process.
In their own words • “I was always taught that you went to elementary school to prepare for junior high to prepare for high school which prepared you for college which prepared you for life. • But life was happening when I was fourteen, and I was stuck in school. • I wasn’t being prepared, I was being held back.”
Effective Instructional Strategies Service- Learning • Youth Citizens: • Classrooms that embrace quality service-learning methodology view students as an asset to our schools & communities and • seek to empower • them through active citizenship. • Create a democratic environment: • Classrooms that invest students in decision making and classroom management process develop more actively engaged students and stronger citizens.
What about lowering Teacher Dropout Rates? • Teacher: • Service-learning has made me a better teacher. • I can finally push my students to meaningfully apply and transfer skills they learn. • Teacher: • Service-learning has become an essential part of my curriculum planning.
In their own words • Student “The first time we went to city council meetings, everyone was afraid. But we began to see that they were just people too, and they thought we had good ideas and we started to feel like we were working together with them” • Student “Service-learning makes school more interesting. We learn about all of our subjects and we learn how to cooperate and work in groups.”
Effective Instructional Strategies Service- Learning • Reflection: • Ongoing, meaningful reflection is a key component in high quality • service-learning. • Reflection • reinforces • learning • Reflection: • Effective learning must involve a process of meaningful reflection embedded throughout the learning experience.
Pete ReadyEducation Specialist Office of Educational Improvement & InnovationOregon Department of Education255 Capitol Street NESalem, OR firstname.lastname@example.org program web pages: www.ode.state.or.us/go/servicelearning www.ode.state.or.us/go/21cclc