Monday, December 2, 2013

Talking Points #6 Kahne and Westheimer

"In The Service of What?"

ARGUEMENT: Kahne and Westheimer argue that "while service learning advocates rush to forge coalitions and find a shared vocabulary that accommodates multiple agendas and while practitioners and researchers begin to work on difficult implementation and evaluation issues, educators from schoolhouse to university to state house are neglecting to answer the most fundamental question: In the service of what?

       Kahne and Westheimer want the readers to understand the impact and more importantly the purpose of service learning. What service is actually being done? What do the students learn from their experiences and what exactly does service learning do? They want students to become pro-active instead of reactive. Going out and volunteering for something is great, but what the students did in Ms. Adams' classroom was exceptional. They completely submerged themselves into the topic of homelessness, helped the homeless community, and the students also gained a ton more knowledge than if they were to just go volunteer in a soup kitchen. Volunteering is important, but service learning is supposed to not only benefit people in the community but also be a learning experience for students. They learned new things about the subject every day in class, and then got to actually initiate change and created a plan to solve a problem in the community. Volunteering teaches civic duty and empathy, while service learning teaches students to identify and respond to problems at hand and the factors leading up to them. Instead of making service learning projects about charity, teachers should be more concerned with making their projects about change. If students were given the right information and tools to create change, their communities could be improved greatly.

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