This article discusses expanding our concept of education to include the area of project-based service learning. It argues that these projects have the potential to increase content knowledge and understanding, while creating connections to the real-world, and helping the communities we live in. The article also includes some testimonials from students and many examples of how other schools have incorporated service learning into the curriculum.
As a math teacher, I often lose focus of the bigger picture of my students lives. I'm just so focused on making sure that they understand the math concepts that I forget that the purpose of their lives is so much bigger. This article helps to bring that back into focus. It emphasizes that most students are already inclined towards making a difference in this world and we just have to foster that enthusiasm.
Service learning, or education geared towards making a difference in the world, might be a new topic for some of us. In this article you can learn more about what it is, what the learning goals are, and how it can impact our students lives. It also provides some structural ideas on how you can integrate service learning into your existing curriculum.
I love this website! Follow the link to find resources on goal setting (videos and lesson plans) filtered by grade level. You can also find a myriad of other great lesson ideas, including topics such as community and perseverance.
Still aren't convinced that service learning is good use of instructional time? I get it, instructional time is limited and I know you are already overwhelmed by the depth and quantity of standards you are responsible for teaching. But take a couple minutes to check out this website on the benefits of service learning. Not only can service learning positively impact your community, it also positively impacts the students and the staff at your school.
I don't know about you, but when I get really excited about incorporating a new idea into my classroom, I like to learn more about how other schools are integrating the same idea. In this video, you can see what projects other schools are doing and what students have to say about it.
So you've decided that you want to do a service learning project with your class. You want to capitalize on the existing enthusiasm and good nature of your students to better this world and in turn, better their lives as well. But here's the real question, what project will you do? What project would be a good fit for the age group and interests of your students? This website has lots of ideas and resources to get you started!