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What is Service Learning?

Service Learning is a way of uniting success at school and social commitment. 

I would like you to keep a few things in mind: 

1. Firstly, true success in education consists in forming good citizens who are able to improve society and not only their own personal agenda. 

2. Secondly, children and young people are not citizens of the future, they are already citizens capable of bringing about change in their surroundings. The almost four and a half thousand children and young people of school age here in Spain can contribute to making it a better world by fixing up the park near their school, alleviating the solitude of their grandparents or telling stories to younger children. 

3. But, thirdly, it just so happens that doing something good for the community, helping others, is also one of the most efficient methods of learning, because boys and girls find sense in what they study when they apply their knowledge and skills to practical experience.

For example, organizing a campaign for people to give blood in their area, learning about blood, blood types, the circulatory system, the need for blood in hospitals, accidents… and also, they learn to organize themselves, to communicate messages, to relate to adults… 

In short, service-learning is a method to unite social commitment with the learning of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values. Learn to be competent by being useful to others. 

It's simple... and it's powerful, because although it is a learning methodology, it is not just that. It is also a philosophy that reconciles the cognitive dimension and the ethical dimension of the person; a pedagogy that combines educational quality and social inclusion and a community development strategy because it promotes the social capital of the populations. 

Roser Batlle 

Translation by Deborah Woolfson 

For more information and good practices… 


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