Essay about Impacts of Service-Learning on College Students

Essay about Impacts of Service-Learning on College Students

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The functional area of service-learning is currently emerging as an acknowledged department at an institution of higher education. The theoretical roots of service learning go back to John Dewey, and the early twentieth century. However, current research on service-learning pedagogy dates back only to the early 1990’s. Best practices for the field are still being created as more and more new offices are springing up on campuses throughout the United States and institutions internationally. The reason this functional area is becoming ever popular is due to the positive impact it has on students and most all educational outcomes.

Service-learning is considered both academic and co-curricular. Academic service learning is credit bearing and co-curricular being non-credit bearing. There have been several definitions of service-learning established, all by reputable authors in the field. Eyler and Giles (1999) cite Jane Kendall as stating there are 147 definitions of service-learning. One of the most comprehensive definitions is stated by Wajert (1998) and says academic service learning consists of six elements. Three are community based, and three are campus based.

“On the community side: the student provides some meaningful service (work), that meets a need or goal that is defined by a community. On the campus side: the service provided by the student flows from and into the course objective, is integrated into the course by means of assignments that require some form of reflection on the service in light for course objectives, and the assignment is assessed and evaluated accordingly” (p. 5).
Eyler and Giles (1999) suggest that there is significance in the hyphen between service and learning and that is where the definition...

... middle of paper ...

...gan Journal of Community Service Learning, 14(2), 5-15.
Eyler J., Giles, D.E. (1999). Where’s the learning in service-learning. San Francisco: Jossey-
Learn and Serve America. (2008). President's higher education community service honor roll
award levels and selection factors. Retrieved November 1, 1008 from
Novak, J., Markey, V., & Allen, M. (2007, May). Evaluating cognitive outcomes of service
learning in higher education: A meta-analysis. Communication Research Reports, 24(2),
Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (2005). How college affects students: Volume 2, a third
decade of research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Wajert, K. M. (1998, Spring). Academic service learning: Its meaning and relevance. New
Directions for Teaching and Learning, 73, 3-10.

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