After reading In The Service Of What? The Politics of Service Learning by Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer both authors argue that service learning is very important in American schools. However each author has a different idea of how service learning should be done. The two ideas are 1) a charity like approach VS 2) civic duty. Both have much in common like provide authentic learning experiences, reflection on matters of social concern and opportunities for interdisciplinary study linked to curricular goals. Also they stress the importance of compassion and they encourage children and adults to find ways to help.
Personally I think that both ideas are great and will help the community no matter what because helping and any shape or form is better than not helping at all. But when I think of service learning I think of what we do in our FNED class. Actually going out in our field and helping out in different schools and working with the kids is service learning to me. Like Jess says in her post “But service learning for charity is basically just another way of saying "community service."” I couldn’t agree with her more. To graduate high school we all had to do a certain amount of hours of community service, whether it would be helping at a soup kitchen, library or a church. Those are all great things to do but it doesn’t say service learning to me. After every week of service learning I am so happy and excited to go again. I love the kids I help and it makes me want to become a teacher even more. I feel that that’s what service learning should be about. Getting you excited for what you’re learning to become. Yes community service can also do that but I have never gotten excited like I do for service learning project when I have done community service. But helping out anyway you can make a difference no matter big or small. If everyone could help out a little the world would be a different and better place. There is no way to service learning a wrong or right way, as long as you are doing something every little bit helps.
What do you think service learning should be….like charity or civic duty?