Introduction to Service-Learning

Introduction to
“Service-Learning is a form of experiential education
in which students engage in activities that address
human and community needs together with
structured opportunities intentionally designed to
promote student learning and development”
(Jacoby, 1996).
Service-Learning at UVM
Home of John Dewey
Four main types of service-learning projects
 Direct service
 Indirect service
 Consultant/Deliverable
 Community-Based Research
40 – 50 SL courses at UVM every semester
Benefits of Service-Learning
for Students
Applies concepts from the classroom to real-world
experiences, enhancing understanding and retention.
Increases meaningful connections to faculty, other students,
and community.
Provides platforms to analyze and discuss civic, personal,
and professional development
Increases sense of self-efficacy, analytical skills, problem
solving, and social development
A “high-impact practice” increasing retention & academic
Reciprocity in Service-Learning
Equal benefit and investment;
Every individual, organization, and entity involved in servicelearning functions as both a teacher and a learner.
Principles of Good Practice
Agreed upon goals and values
Mutual trust, authenticity, and commitment
Identifying and addressing strengths and weaknesses
Balance of power and sharing of resources
Open Communication
Collaborative process
Feedback for improvement
Sharing of responsibility
Committing time and resources
From Cress et al. (2005), Learning Through Serving
Student Development in S-L
Service-learning is a “high-impact practice” and has
demonstrated effects on students in six domains:
Academic and Cognitive Development
Civic Development
Career Development
Ethical and Moral Development
Personal Development
Social Development
PARE Model
• What is the
community need?
• What do you hope
to learn?
• Adjust as
• Time you spend
doing the project
• Reciprocal
• Addresses a
community need
• Continuous
• Captures your
3-Phase Model of S-L
Critical Reflection
“Follow effective action with quiet reflection.
From the quiet reflection will come even more
effective action.”
- Peter Drucker
According to David Kolb’s Learning Cycle (the process that
participants go through in experiential learning), reflection is
one of four key stages.
Characteristics of Quality Reflection
Clearly communicate ideas and analysis.
Critically examine experiences with
• Relevance, Accuracy, Clarity
• Depth, Breadth, Logic, and Significance
Explore connections between academic and service components
Seek alternative explanations for incidents
Critical Reflection…
Critical reflection is not just about telling what you did.
It’s about:
• making connections between the service and the learning
• thinking critically about your experience
• going beyond the surface to uncover the less obvious aspects of
the experience
The key: SYNTHESIS of experience and academic content
Continuous Reflection Model