Honestly, I believe that Service Learning is one of the most beneficial things that would could have access to at RIC. It builds classroom experience in a controlled environment, and allows us to give back to the community as well. I absolutely love my placement. I totally back this quote up because its so amazingly true.
"In the political domain, the intentions of those promoting service learning activities draw from two different assumptions about political socialization and what it means to be a citizen. Those who focus primarily on charity believe that, to be properly educated in a democracy. Students must undergo experiences that demonstrate the value of altruism and the dangers of exclusive self-interest".
An important part of this article is the concept of Charity vs. Change. In other words, what is the general reason why people become involved with service learning, and at what point are we going beyond charity in the classroom, and actually trying to change how the classroom is run??? In other words, it acknowledges that there is a point at which volunteerism becomes a movement towards reform. We made the chart in class you probably remember, yet I was offended by having only 2 columns. It should be a ring chart because there are certainly times when both parts are encompassed
. Their grade depended primarily on the number of hours they volunteered. Thirty hours for an A, 20 for a B. and 10 for a C".
Its so easy for us to get caught up in our service learning as being part of our grade. I have done over the amount of required hours so far. I go in for 2 hours at a time, multiple times a week. Its not only part of the grade for me, although it does cross our minds of course. Thats what I was saying earlier about the 3 ring chart though as opposed to the two columns.I encompass both of these aspects I believe.
This article really made me stop and think about my service learning experiance, and why exactly im here. Is it to only help the community??? I suppose not because I do want that A just like everyone else. But its important for us as educators to stop and realize that there is more to our job than just putting in the hours.