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We are witnessing a transformation in education. Again and again we hear that we are in times of diversification, collaboration, systemic change, and transition. Although these terms apply to cooperative efforts between groups, they stem from the realization that such efforts can efficiently support and prepare students to face increasingly complex challenges, opportunities, and problems. Service learning is a part of this transformation.

Service learning rightly has been called the education of empowerment. It builds self-esteem, renews curiosity about learning, develops interpersonal skills, stirs leadership development, rekindles work and service ethics, and brings the world of careers closer to home. All students - elementary, middle, and high school, as well as special education - benefit from service learning.

This fastback provides an overview of service learning and shows how teachers can incorporate service learning as an instructional methodology.


Fertman, C. I. (1994). Service learning for all students. Bloomington, IN: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation.