Service-learning: History, Theory, and Issues

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Bruce W. Speck, Sherry Lee Hoppe
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004 - Education - 209 pages
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Although service-learning programs can have diverse theoretical roots, faculty who engage their students in service-learning may not be be cognizant of alternatives to the one they adopt. This book presents not only a historical perspective, but it also debates the theories and issues surrounding the conflicts inherent in those theories. One theory, based on a philanthropic model, engages students in a commitment to serve others from a sense of gratitude for their own good fortunes or from a desire to give back to communities from which they have benefited. Typically, service-learning programs based on the philanthropic or communitarian models deal with the overt needs of community members. In contrast, the civic model requires deeper analysis of the various political and social issues that may be the cause of social conditions that require the help of the more fortunate. Opponents of the civic theory fear that proponents see the classroom as a forum for advancing particular political agendas, conceivably indoctrinating students to a particular view of social injustices.

This book presents the theories and critiques their merits and liabilities, providing insight into the widely divergent curricular applications. It also examines the reasons professors should consider service-learning components in their classes and provides resources for further investigation of both theory and practice.


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Theoretical Roots of ServiceLearning Progressive Education and the Development of Citizenship
The Historical Origins of ServiceLearning in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries The Transplanted and Indigenous Traditions
Theoretical Models
A Justification of the Philanthropic Model
A Critique of the Philanthropic Model
A Justification of the Civic Engagement Model
A Critique of the Civic Engagement Model
A Justification of the Communitarian Model
A Synthesis of the Theoretical Stances
Related Issues
The Ethics of Classroom Advocacy
ServiceLearning and Professional Ethics in a Catholic University
Selected Sources on ServiceLearning
About the Editors and the Contributors

A Critique of the Communitarian Model

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About the author (2004)

BRUCE W. SPECK is the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of English at Austin Peay State University.

SHERRY L. HOPPE is the President of Austin Peay State University.

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