Service Learning in Curriculum Reform
by Gene R. Carter - 1997
Service learning offers a philosophical challenge to traditional ways of thinking about education. By integrating efforts to understand and address the community's needs into the curriculum, we can create a focal point for showing students the connection between school and the real world. As James Beane reminds us, the curriculum must make "sense as a whole; and its parts, whatever they are, are unified and connected by that sense of the whole." Service learning programs challenge participants to make connections between service experiences and academic learning. As students perform a service activity that applies curriculum concepts, they can see how the learning in separate disciplines is in fact interrelated, and how that learning applies to their own lives.
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