Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Service-learning is a structured learning experience that combines community service with preparation and reflection. Service-learning provides colleges and university students with a “community context” to their education, allowing them to connect their academic coursework to their roles as citizens.
- Enhances interpersonal skills
- Strengthens critical thinking and teaches reflection
- Teaches civic responsibility through active community involvement
- Fosters sense of caring for others
- Deepens their understanding of social problems and teaches skills in collaboration
Components of Service-Learning
- Integration – the process of turning theory into practice.
- Reciprocity – servers and recipients of the service develop a mutual sense of belonging and responsibility within their community and foster a relationship that may not otherwise exist.
- Reflection – students reflect upon their experiences, connecting the course content to actual field work.
*Information from Kronick, R. F., Cunningham, R. B., & Gourley, M. (2011) Experiencing service-learning.