TYPES OF SERVICE-LEARNING
The following list gives a sense of the many ways students can apply instruction and practice needed skills through helping others. Full-scale projects include formal linkages with coursework, and part of the student grade is tied to the service-learning activities. Note that different types of projects have students apply different skills.
Direct Service-Learning: person-to-person, face-to-face service projects in which the students’ service directly impacts individuals who receive the service from the students. Examples include:
• Tutoring other students and adults
• Conducting art/music/dance lessons for younger students
• Helping other students resolve conflict
• Giving performances on violence and drug prevention
• Creating lessons and presenting them to younger students
• Creating life reviews for Hospice patients
Impact on/skills practiced by servers include the following: caring for others, personal responsibility, dependability, interpersonal skills, ability to get along with others who are different, problem-solving, beginning-to-end, big-picture learning.
Indirect Service-Learning: working on broad issues, environmental projects, community development-projects that have clear benefits to the community or environment, but not necessarily to individual identified people with whom the students are working. Examples include:
• Compiling a town history
• Restoring historic structures or building low-income housing
• Removing exotic plants and restoring ecosystems, preparing preserve areas for public use
Impact on/skills practiced by servers include the following: cooperation, teamwork skills, playing different roles, organizing, prioritizing, project-specific skills.
Research-Based Service-Learning: gathering and presenting information on areas of interest and need–projects that find, gather, and report on information that is needed. Examples include:
• Writing a guide on available community services and translating it into Spanish and other languages of new residents
• Conducting longitudinal studies of local bodies of water; water testing for local residents
• Gathering information and creating brochures or videos for non-profit or government agencies
• Mapping state lands and monitoring flora and fauna
• Conducting surveys, studies, evaluations, experiments, interviews, etc.
Impact on/skills practiced by servers include the following: learn how to learn/get answers/find information, make discriminating judgments, work systematically, organizational skills, learn how to assess, evaluate, and test hypotheses.
Advocacy Service-Learning: educating others about topics of public interest – projects that aim to create awareness and action on some issue that is in the public interest. Examples include:
• Planning and putting on public forums on topics of interest in the community
• Conducting public information campaigns on topics of interest or local needs
• Working with elected officials to draft legislation to improve communities
• Training the community in fire safety or disaster preparation
Impact on/skills practiced by servers include the following: perseverance; understanding rules, systems, processes; engaged citizenship, working with adults.
National Service-Learning Clearinghouse, Retrieved, February 25, 2013 http://www.servicelearning.org/