Barbara H. Vann

Document Type


Publication Date



Service learning is a term used to describe efforts to link community service to the academic curriculum. It is a broad, nebulously defined term which at times includes academic endeavors.such as internships, needs assessments and participatory action research (Marullo, !996). A more narrow .usage, and the usage promoted by its advocates, refers to the process through which students participate in organized service activity for academic credit to meet identified community needs and reflect on that service to further their understanding of course material (Bringle and Hatcher, 1994 ). And, as Marullo (1996) has pointed out, when service learning activity is done properly, it should provide students with an increased awareness of civic responsibility, promote their moral development, and help them to analyze the causes and consequences of social problems (Honnet and Poulsen, 1989; Levison, 1990). This has led Marullo to describe service learning as a pedagogy that offers "a crucible for learning that enables students to test theories with life experiences, and forces upon them an evaluation of their knowledge and understanding grounded in their service experience" (Marullo, 1996).