The Center for Service Learning

 
 
 

Philosophy of Service Learning

The Center For Service Learning CCBC Essex Campus
7201 Rossville Boulevard
Baltimore, Maryland 21237
School of Wellness, Education, Behavorial and Social Sciences
BESS 313A
443-840-1409

E-mail: tgordon@ccbcmd.edu

The Nature of Service Learning

The purpose of service learning is to provide ways for individual students to address the needs of their communities through their service and to use their experiences to facilitate the learning process in college courses.  Students serve a stipulated number of hours at community agencies that have agreed to accept them as volunteers and integrate their experiences as part of a service-learning component in a course in which they are registered.  The intent is to create a method of collaborative learning that stresses conceptual knowledge in the classroom combined with its application through experiential learning in the community.

Ideally, by participating in this process students will have acquired a deeper understanding of themselves, their world, and knowledge about specific information being addressed in their courses.  The emphasis is on encouraging a deeper investment in a process that involves a broader, more integrative approach to learning.  It requires that they experience and explore situations that are not ordinarily a part of their lives and in so doing provide opportunities for expanding the limits of their knowledge that are very important if they are to be an integral part of an increasingly diverse society.

Students will return from their community service experiences and be required to apply them in a college course as a part of their grade. Though there are different ways for accomplishing this, many instructors would probably engage their students by having them write reflective papers on what had occurred.  The purpose of such writing would be for them to address their experience and how it relates to what they had been learning in the classroom.  Others might require journals, other written assignments, or use class discussion as a way to integrate the experience within a particular course. Essentially, instructors will emphasize the development of critical thinking so that students can begin to understand the consequences and the causes of community problems and issues.  The ultimate goals are to enable to them to begin to develop a different perspective on how they affect our society and alternative strategies for addressing them.  Further, we would seek to instill a greater sense of compassion for others and a sense of commitment for being involved in their communities through their service.  By encouraging or requiring our students to participate in this way service learning will enable them to be part of an expanded process of education that can have a positive effect on society as well as their own personal development.

The Center for Service Learning
School of Wellness, Education, Behavorial and Social Sciences


CCBC Essex Campus

BESS 313A

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