Frequency & Trends of School Implementation
It is estimated that over 4.2 million elementary, middle, and secondary school students participated in service-learning during the 2007-08 academic year in approximately 20,400 schools; of these, high schools were most likely to engage students in community service or to include service-learning as part of their curriculum (Spring, Grimm, & Dietz, 2009). All students, including those with disabilities (e.g. emotional and behavioral disorders, learning disabilities, moderate and severe intellectual disabilities, and deaf and blind students), can be involved in and benefit from service-learning (Dymond, Renzaglia, & Chung 2007). Learn more about how service-learning can effectively include students with disabilities.
During the last decade, the number of schools that engaged students in community service was greater than the number of schools that offered service-learning as part of their curriculum. Consistently, about two-thirds of the public schools in the United States recognized or arranged community service, while only one-third of the schools offered service-learning (Skinner & Chapman, 1999; Spring, Grimm, & Dietz, 2009). Service-learning is distinct from community service and volunteering because it focuses on meeting both the needs of the community and that of the learner through a mutually beneficial partnership. In addition, service-learning is integrated into academic curriculum and coursework as “a form of experiential learning which tests students’ higher order thinking skills while deepening their understanding of the subject matter, their community, and themselves” (Muscott, 2001 p. 10). It also aims to enhance civic engagement by incorporating instruction on social issues that extend beyond the immediate needs of individuals or projects.
Dymond, S. K., Renzaglia, A., & Chun, E. (2007). Elements of effective high school service learning programs that include students with and without disabilities. Remedial and Special Education, 28(4), 227-243.
Muscott, H. (2001). An introduction to service-learning for students with emotional and behavioral disorders: Answers to frequently asked questions. Beyond Behavior, 10(3), 8-15.
Skinner, R., & Chapman, C. (1999). Service-learning and community service in K-12 public schools: Statistics in brief. Education Statistics Quarterly, 1(4), 51-59.
Spring, K., Grimm, R., & Dietz, N. (2009). Community service and service-learning in America’s schools, 2008. Washington, DC: Corporation for National and Community Service, Office of Research and Policy Development. Retrieved from http://www.nationalservice.gov/pdf/08_1112_lsa_prevalence.pdf (PDF, x Pages)
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