Service-learning is increasingly becoming an avenue used to provide students with “real- life” experience by linking students with local communities and community service providers. Definitions of service-learning vary and the term is often mistakenly used interchangeably for volunteerism and community service.
Unlike traditional volunteering, which stresses service goals (ethic of service, moral development, value and belief definition), service learning encourages the blending of both service and learning goals. Service-Learning provides the following opportunities for students:
- Fosters the academic, social, and personal development of students
- Enhances what is taught in schools by extending student learning beyond the classroom and into the community
- Utilizes newly acquired skills and knowledge in real-life situations in their own community
Service-Learning is a concept that unites hands-on service experiences with education. Service-Learning programs enrich students’ lives by making relevant connections between what they learn in class and what they experience in the real world. Service-Learning can occur through service programs that are integrated into the students’ academic curriculum. Students are provided with a structured time to reflect or write about what they experienced during the actual service activity.