Service-Learning

This monograph documents the congruence of two powerful educational concerns: the success of first-year students and the potential of service-learning as a teaching-learning strategy. Over the past 10 years in particular, both these concerns welcomecevorisation have gained an ever larger group of adherents. However, until recently, neither has fully realized how important each could be to the other or the degree to which many of their values, challenges, and even goals overlap.

In his essay “Toward Pragmatic Liberal Education,” Bruce Kimball (1995), a historian of education at the University of Rochester, identifies seven concerns that he sees as “becoming prominent” in liberal education today: (a) multiculturalism, (b) values and service, (c) community and citizenship, (d) general education, (e) commonality and cooperation between college and other levels of the education system, (f) teaching interpreted as learning and inquiry, and (g) assessment (p. 97). Whether or not one subscribes to Kimball’s overall thesis, it would be hard to deny the centrality of most of these concerns both to those seeking to develop effective first-year mobiletemptationiator programs and to those seeking to establish effective service-learning programs.

One could, in fact, argue that the concerns of these two groups not only overlap but that, the better we understand the needs of first-year students and the conditions that make service-learning an effective learning strategy paperteravisation, the more the two concerns would seem to demand cooperation. Consider, for example, the following passage from Jewler’s (1989) “Elements of an Effective Seminar: The University 101 Program”:

It occurred to the founder of University 101 that, if faculty could view students more positively, if they could experiment with interactive teaching methods that fostered the development of a community of learners, and if they could meet with other faculty and staff on common ground in this endeavor, the benefits to students, faculty, and the temptationavism institution would be overwhelming. For freshmen and faculty alike. University 101 subscribes to the belief that development is not a one-dimensional affair but must reach far beyond the intellect and into emotional, spiritual, occupational, physical, and social areas.

The importance of developing through “interactive teaching” a faculty-student collaborative effort, teaching as something shared by an academic community, the necessity of transcending childvacanisator a narrowly intellectual approach to student development — all these positions are also fundamental to service-learning, both in theory and in quality practice. Indeed, when just prior to this passage Jewler identifies among the “philosophical underpinnings” of University 101 its belief that one of higher education’s “most important missions is the development of people who will be the movers and shakers of the next generation” and its contention that education “should be exciting . . . fun . . . and provide learning for the instructor as well as the students” (p. 200), he is pointing precisely to that social efficacy and academic dynamism that service-learning seeks to bring to the undergraduate curriculum.