There is a long history of service learning in Canada, the USA, UK, South Africa, and China (among others).
Eyler and Giles in their book "Where is the Learning in Service Learning", define service learning as:
"Form of experiential education where learning occurs through a cycle of action and reflection as students work with others through a process of applying what they are learning to community problems and at the same time reflecting upon their experience as they seek to achieve real objectives for the community and deeper understanding and skills for themselves"
Key elements from the definition:
- Experiential education - cycles of action and reflection
- Working with others - partnerships and collaborations
- Community problems - assets, issues, questions
The association Web site has lots of great material. This was a good presentation in that it exposed me to the scale of service learning in Canada. Service learning is not a new concept, it has been around a long time and there is a large body of knowledge around it. This will hold me and others at NSCC in good stead as we incorporate service learning into our programmes. Some essential resources for faculty, staff, and learners.