• COMPONENTS OF A SERVICE-LEARNING PROJECT
     
    All service-learning experiences must include 1) Preparation, 2) Action and 3) Reflection:
     
    1) Preparation is the 1st step of service-learning in which students work with teachers and community members to:
    • Identify issues affecting the community in areas related to health, education, environment, or public safety
    • Select project site(s) and how to address a selected issue
    • Plan service-learning reflection
    • Explore the concept of active citizenship 
    2) Action is the 2nd step of service-learning in which students carry out their service through one of the following:
    • Direct Service – Students have face-to-face contact with service recipients. Examples include tutoring other students, serving meals at a homeless shelter, working with the elderly in a senior citizen community, etc.
    • Indirect Service – Students perform a service without having direct contact with the recipient. Usually resources are channeled to help alleviate a problem. Examples include food and clothing drives, environmental projects, raising money for a cause through activities such as a walk-a-thon, etc.
    • Advocacy – Students educate others about a selected issue with the goal of eliminating the causes of a particular problem. Examples include writing letters to legislators or newspaper editors, creating web pages, creating and displaying posters within the community, writing and performing informative plays, creating educational materials for other target groups, legislative testimony, etc. 
    3) Reflection is the 3rd and final step of service-learning in which students look back upon the completed project and review what they have learned. Reflection may be done individually (journals, scrapbooks, teacher-student meetings) or as a group (class evaluation of the project based on the goals and outcomes).
     
    Service-learning activities allow students to spend a significant portion of their time engaged in meeting a recognized community need. Students should be provided with opportunities to engage in a variety of types of service-learning: direct, indirect and advocacy experiences involving Maryland’s Seven Best Practices of Service-Learning. Here are three types of service:
    • Direct Service – Students have face-to-face contact with service recipients. Examples include tutoring other students, serving meals at a homeless shelter, working with the elderly in a senior citizen community, etc.
    • Indirect Service – Students perform a service without having direct contact with the recipient. Usually resources are channeled to help alleviate a problem. Examples include food and clothing drives, environmental projects, raising money for a cause such as a walk-a-thon, etc.
    • Advocacy – Students educate others about a selected issue with the goal of eliminating the causes of a particular problem. Examples include writing letters to legislators or newspaper editors, creating web pages, creating and displaying posters within the community, writing and performing informative plays, creating educational materials for other target groups, legislative testimony, etc.).

     

    SERVICE-LEARNING IS NOT THE SAME AS:

    Community Service
    People engaging in community service do so for a variety of reasons. This is a broad term that can encompass court ordered, stipend or volunteer service. It also does not necessarily link to academic studies. 

    Volunteerism
    Volunteers engage in service for a variety of personal reasons. They do not necessarily link their service to academic studies nor do they receive academic credit for their efforts.

    Work Study Internship
    Student interns frequently work at for-profit business to benefit the financial standing of that business. They are not necessarily working to improve their communities through these internship experiences. There can be overlap between work study internships and service-learning. Students are engaged in service-learning if through their internship experiences they work to improve the health or welfare of their community while linking this to their academic studies.

    Service-Learning experiences should meet all of the Maryland's Seven Best Practices of Service-LearningThese best practices expand on the fundamental preparation, action and reflection stages of service-learning and should be used to assess high-quality projects.  

Last Modified on October 25, 2019