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Service Learning —> Project Learning? March 18, 2010

Posted by twinsunplus1 in Uncategorized.
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I attended a lunch meeting of the Guilford County Council of PTAs and the last item on the agenda was an informational update about the county’s move toward a greater integration of character education. 

The presentor stressed that teachers would not be asked to do something more, just build peices of character education, like service learning, into their curriculum.  

What is service learning?  From the Guilford County Schools website, it is defined as

Service Learning is teaching that connects meaningful community service experiences with academic learning, personal growth, and civic responsibility. Service learning goes beyond extracurricular community service because it involves participants in reading, reflection and analysis; provides students an opportunity to develop a personal connection to what they are learning; and creates a context for the application of concepts introduced in the classroom.

She did not give an example of  how to integrate the service learning into a specific project learning in the classroom.  I can see where there would be great potential in a classroom that had some freedom–i.e. no EOG test.    I can also see the other side where it, the service componen,t is a GIANT flop.  

The question is, how do you engage the students in a project where service is a key component?  Is it the starting, middle or end section?  

I’d love to hear how other educator’s whose district is requiring this character ed peic, are incorporating it all.  Can it be done?

The digital natives are calling,

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