Anne Bishop

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 1996

Publication Title

KDP Record

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Teachers crave moments when student interest is high, questions flow freely, and learning is vivid enough to be retained. One such moment occurred when an elementary student in an environmental service project with wetlands volunteers said, "I learned that there are different types of wetlands and ours is a freshwater wetland that we are helping to stay fresh." These moments happen more often when students actively engage in experiences that involve helping others than during lecture, pencil and paper exercises, or assigned reading. Combined, service and learning become uniquely powerful (Kendall 1990). Facts learned in the classroom become a springboard for a service project. The need for additional learning arises when planning the project. In the real-life learning environment, the project stimulates curiosity, which increases the number of teachable moments in the classroom. Practitioners widely accept research conclusions that retention rates soar to 75-90 percent when instruction involves practice by doing, teaching others, and immediate use of learning-and service learning incorporates all these activities.