What is Service-Learning?

“…a teaching and learning approach that integrates community service with academic study to enrich learning, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.” USA National Commission on Service-Learning

The National and Community Service Act of 1990 (USA) suggests Service-Learning as:

• Promoting learning through thinking about how to go about implementing positive change
• Providing an opportunity to use skills and knowledge in real-life situations
• Extending learning beyond the classroom
• Fostering a sense of caring for others
• Providing structured time for students to reflect

Community-Service versus Service-Learning

Community Service

If individuals occasionally help other students with homework in an afterschool program:

  …they are providing a service to the community as volunteers


When individuals sit down with students struggling with academics, analyze what they found to be the challenges facing the stuggling students at school and at home, share the results and offer suggestions for the neighborhood to increase success in school, and then reflect on their experience…

THAT is service-learning!

Note! Service-learning can be organized and offered by community organizations with learning objectives or structured reflection activities for their participants. Service-Learning is not just for studnets in school!