Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 1991

Publication Title

The Responsive Community

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The extraordinary rise in American interest in community service has inspired widespread participation by the nation's young in service programs. It has also provoked a profound and telling debate about the relationship of service to voluntarism on the one hand, and to civic education and citizenship on the other. Two complementary approaches to service have emerged that are mutually supportive but also in a certain tension with one another. The first aims at attracting young volunteers, particularly students, out of the classroom and into service projects as part of a strategy designed to strengthen altruism, philanthropy, individualism, and self-reliance. The second is concerned with integrating service into the classroom and into academic curricula in hopes of making civic education and social responsibility core subjects of high school and university education.