For over a quarter of a century, education researchers and practitioners have struggled to determine how to best characterize service-learning. In 1979, Robert Sigmon defined service-learning as an experiential education approach that is premised on "reciprocal learning" (Sigmon, 1979). He suggested that because learning flows from service activities, both those who provide service and those who receive it "learn" from the experience. In Sigmon's view, service-learning occurs only when both the providers and recipients of service benefit from the activities.
Furco, Andrew, "Service-Learning: A Balanced Approach to Experiential Education" (1996). Service Learning, General. 128.