Article review A Checklist for Implementing Service Learning in Higher Education

ARTICLE REVIEW: A CHECKLIST FOR IMPLEMENTING SERVICE LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION 1

Articlereview: A Checklist for Implementing Service Learning in HigherEducation

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Article review: A Checklist for Implementing Service Learning inHigher Education

Many educators haveincorporated community service into the curriculum so as to exposestudents to learning environment outside the classroom. Communityservice supplements classroom learning by introducing students tosocial concerns in the community (Schuh et al., 2011). When communityservice is assimilated into the curriculum, it is usually considereda service learning. However, in the article, Jenkins and Sheehey usethree constituents that differentiate service learning from communityservice. Jenkins and Sheehey characterize service learning withfactors such as a systematic approach for reflection and evaluationan undeviating connection to the curriculum and an uninterruptedlink to the demands of the community outside the classroom. Accordingto Jenkins and Sheehey, service learning is a community servicefounded on a curriculum, performed in school by mixing classroomteaching methods with activities associated with community service.Service learning has to be systematized in connection with anacademic project (Schuh et al., 2011). Besides having a clearlystated objective, it recognizes the real needs of a community in asustained manner. Also, it assists students in extracting lessonsfrom the service through frequent schedule, systematized reflectionor critical assessment of undertakings such as directed writings,presentation and classroom discussions.

Jenkins and Sheeheyuse both professional experience and written works to determine thesignificant phases when designing a successful service learningprogram. These steps include preparation, implementation, reflectionand celebration. The preparation stage helps the students andeducators to define what community demands will be met as well aswhat will be learned and what service will be provided. Atimplementation phase, a student working with diverse population showa reduction in stereotypes and increase intolerance, culturalobligation, spiritual development, and personal knowledge. Throughreflection, students can utilize their critical thinking approach tolink their service experience to the objective of the curricular. Thedemonstration step is a prospect to exploit in the positive communitydevelopment that service-learning project can create in communities.

Service learning delivers diverse support for students’ success.It spreads the classroom into the community where students engage ininexperienced setting that experiment and challenge theirperspective. Consequently, it provides a social situation, outsidethe classroom, availing new understanding of social concerns facingthe community. These makes students interested in present socialconcerns thus, activating the need to be Democrats. Jenkins andSheehey’s study explores the motivation behind teacher experiencewith service learning as well as providing service learning fromhigher education teachers’ perspective. The study substantiallyprovides the essence of the service learning experience by focusingon motivation and initiation. By presenting the four stages ofservice learning, Jenkins and Sheehey provide a roadmap to assisteducators brand service learning systematic and viable, allowing moreeducators to have a greater impact on the students’ lives.

However, thearticle does not differentiate between service learning and communityservice. Since the project need to benefit both the student andcommunity partner, there should be a vibrant difference betweenservice learning and community service. While community service ismainly focused on the advantages of the community members of involvedparties, service learning links classroom experience as well ascourse content directly to the student’s experience.

Inthe article, Jenkins and Sheehey have used professional experienceand written works to determine a successful service learning program.However, research into student’s attitudes towards service learningcould be a predictor of their actual behavior and how servicelearning has impacted the attitude of the students as well as thecommunity. A further study can follow up to assess the impact theservice learning project have made about community service aftercompletion of higher education.

References

Jenkins A., &amp Sheehey, P. A checklist for implementingservice-learning in higher education. Journal of CommunityEngagement and Scholarship. 4(2): 52-60

Schuh, J. H., Jones, S. R., &amp Harper, S. R. (Eds.). (2011).Student services: A handbook for the profession (5th ed). SanFrancisco: Jossey-Bass.