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Service learning in the world

October 21, 2011

Last weekend I attended a conference about Service Learning. Do you know this expression? Maybe, some of you don’t know what service learning means. However, being a teacher, service learning may look more familiar.

If I had to write a definition, I’d say that service learning is the sort of learning where students learn contents about something interesting for them, but also they do community service.

In Spain the most important person who has studied, made and disseminated around the service learning world is Roser Batlle. She came last week to Valencia to share with us some experiences about service learning carried out by her institution.

She spoke about Spanish and international experiences. But she focused on the Spanish ones, because she is from Catalonia and she knows a lot of examples.

At the conference Roser was not the only person who spoke, but also other teachers who have put this sort of learning into practice in their lessons had the opportunity to speak. They were from Valencia, Xàbia, even from the University.

If you want to know more things about this amazing way to teach, there are a lot of experiences and links on the Internet. Here you have one interesting link about service learning in The United States. Enjoy it!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. ninithblue permalink
    October 21, 2011 8:21 pm

    Nowadays many students from all over Spain think School doesn’t help them to live better life. Imagine Life waS a film, sudents feel, school is the advertsement…they want to come back to real life as soon as possible; I mean, school, in most cases has not sense in Student’s life.

    Significative learning is the key to get student’s motivation and, in my opinion. Service learning is a good way to reach it. It has sense, because students find interesting what they are learning; they have to teach other people, they have to understand everything. If they don’t understand, they wont be able to teach others.

    According to my experience, service learning has a lot of benefits. However I recognize it’s quite difficult to use this educative method when one of the most important things in the educative system is the word MERITOCRACY.

    PD: I missed the last conference…it was impossible to me to go…I hope to assist the next one.

  2. October 22, 2011 2:27 am

    Hi, Nieves, I agree with you. In fact, The most cases of Service Learning help students to motivate them.
    Moreover, students learn about the life, the justice, the respect, and a lot of values that they’d never thought, because this MERITOCRACY educational system hardly ever promote them.

    I think with Service Learning teachers have the oportunity to show student the real life. And the most important thing: they become a “necessary persons” for other persons.
    Even, more of them, find the real sense to go to the school each day.

    In my opinion, Service learning is a “great invent”!

  3. marisadedios permalink*
    October 22, 2011 2:36 pm

    What an interesting post you have written Lydia. I had never heard of service learning before and find it a really interesting alternative. In my opinion, one thing is clear, we have to change tratitional teaching methods because they simply don’t work. We should look for ways of prompting creativity and motivation, but specially we should help our students to develop as good citizens and service learning seems to be the anwer to that.

  4. Lydia Carrasco permalink
    October 22, 2011 3:37 pm

    Yes, Marisa, I think that point is the most importanto point: Help them to develop as good citizens in a real social context.

    Here in Valencia we have different experiences about service learning. One of the most important is applied in Salesianos School. The director of that school started to invited his philosophy students to do a different work in his subject. Each year there are more students in his project.

    Students cooperate with social institutions and they are learning about people need each other. In this way, they realize that are very important to our society as well.

  5. jesarqit permalink
    October 22, 2011 4:59 pm

    I guess this is a great way to break the gap between bare knowledge and real life, because through this service it´s possible to realize what you learn in class becomes useful outside school walls, and specially valuable for society. However, I also agree it´s “just” other tool together with meritocracy. Independently none of them works, but together they improve a system that is loosing its main aim, to educate.

  6. jesarqit permalink
    October 22, 2011 5:03 pm

    *losing (loosing is when something in not taut, fixed, or rigid)

  7. Ana María permalink
    October 23, 2011 7:29 pm

    I’ ve never heard of Service Learning before and I’ ve found Lydia’s post really interesting. After reading the post I’ ve been reading more about this technique of learning on the internent, which I definitely find really motivating to students.
    This method reminds me of an initiative that takes place in the company I currently work. It’s not exactly Service Learning but I think is something quite similiar. Some lawyers who work at the company are involved in a project that is to give some lessons in different schools in Valencia on basic legal concepts and notions of civic behavior. Students are interested in this lessons and participate a lot.

  8. juanmlb permalink
    October 23, 2011 7:45 pm

    I agree with you Jesus, knowledge and real life must be mixed. The developing relationships between teachers and students in real life and the fact of combine studies and community services sounds fantastic. I think people have to feel that they are usefull to the society and help to other people make you be happy. The best dictionary must be the real world and reaching the problems serving.

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