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Service Learning: What is Service Learning?

The guide includes links to library resources (books, journals, articles), websites, and links to service learning programs at other community colleges across the country.


New Directions for Teaching and Learning cover Peter Felten and Patti H. Clayton's chapter "Service-Learning," in the Winter 2011 issue of New Directions for Teaching & Learning, provides an excellent introduction to service learning. They cite two definitions of service learning:

"Service-learning is the various pedagogies that link community service and academic study so that each strengthens the other. The basic theory of service-learning is Dewey’s: the interaction of knowledge and skills with experience is key to learning." (Ehrlich, p. xi)

"Service-learning is a course-based, credit-bearing educational experience in which students (a) participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and (b) reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of personal values and civic responsibility." (Bringle, Hatcher, and McIntosh, p.12)