The Brown Center for Leadership & Service is here to provide you with ideas for service-learning curriculum development, reflective activities that help students think critically about their experience, organization placements for students, and presentations to prepare students prior to service. If you would like to set an appointment to have a Service Learning Consultation or a Site Referral please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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 (from servicelearning.org).
Enhances Both Theoretical and Practical Understanding
Service Learning creates an experience that offers students the opportunity to compare theory with reality. What they read and hear in class has new meaning as students apply academic material and begin to construct their own knowledge.
Deepens Commitments to Community Involvement
Academic involvement in the community decreases a student’s isolation from social and political issues facing the community. Interacting with the community allows students to learn about its struggles and resources. Students then develop a broader awareness, a sense of civic responsibility and a connection to the larger community, all of which expand classroom learning.
Reinvigorate a Course
Service-learning is a unique pedagogy that can be new and exciting for both the teacher and learner. It provides the instructor with another resource.
Deepen a Student’s Understanding
By incorporating service into a class, course content takes on new meaning as students have the real-world upon which to reflect. Students will have different experiences to bring to class, creating the potential for a more engaging and diverse learning environment.
Connect with the Community
Interacting with the community provides exposure to local issues and a chance to develop an enriching reciprocal relationship with people and resources.
Be a Partner
The community can be an equal partner in educating students with community-based learning. Breaking down the division between the school and community allows community members to share their perspective and experience.
Meet their Needs
In a positive partnership such as service-learning, community organizations benefit from the knowledge, creativity, and enthusiasm students contribute to a project. The connection with the college may enable non-profit agencies to increase their visibility and more effectively reach their goals.
Service-Learning is an important component of developing our students as leaders in service. As a community we can promote social responsibility and active citizenship through implementing service-learning curriculum in and out of the classroom. Below are resources to assist with creating new curriculum, finding reflection activities, and partnering with community agencies. If you need further assistance, please remember the BCLS staff members are available for advice, planning, orientation, coordination, and anything else you might need.