Service-learning is a form of experiential learning that supports a deeper understanding and application of knowledge. Through service-learning activities, students apply classroom knowledge in practical settings to enhance their understanding of class materials.
Service-learning provides students with opportunities to develop collaborative, organizational, relational, and civic engagement skills. Students can gain better understanding of themselves as they explore and develop ways to contribute to their communities.
Service-learning has been associated with academic gain: students who participate in community service are given the chance to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to authentic problems.
Service-learning increasing students’ sense of self-efficacy: students feel as though they can actually make a difference which leads to more self-confidence and a growth mindset that seeps into their performance at school.
Students can participate in a culminating service-learning showcase. This provides students a unique opportunity to exhibit their understanding through an inquiry or reflective display about the application of their course work to relevant community issues.
How to get started?
Identify a current local community issue that would interest your students. A relevant topic that is engaging and related to their community would be best, for example: a polluted water source, a blighted area of town, reducing energy or food waste.
The Kids Consortium Service Learning Center has a varied list of projects from grades K-12 that could be tailored to any grade level/subject area. They also have tips for how to sustain a service-learning program.
If your students participate in any service-learning opportunities, tag us @theTSIN on social media, so we can highlight the great service work TN students are engaging in!