Blogs on Service Learning

Blogs on Service LearningRSS
Heather CalabroFebruary 20, 2014

There are many, many, many things that are more exciting to a teenager than history class. That's why I wanted to create a lesson plan that would generate interest -- and therefore encourage engagement -- in history among my high school sophomores.

When I begin to plan out a project-­based learning opportunity for my students, I usually follow the same brainstorm path. Of course, this path could be followed by your students as well, in order to give them voice and choice in their curriculum.

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Suzie BossDecember 30, 2013

When teachers ask how to get started with project-based learning, I acknowledge the "front-loading" that's part of project planning. Before students enter the picture, teachers need to consider the learning goals of a project, develop an assessment plan, and map out at least a rough calendar of the learning activities that will support the inquiry process. Those details may change once students dig in, but having a plan provides a roadmap for the student-directed learning ahead.

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Lori DesautelsDecember 19, 2013

Walking into the kitchen, she spots the community college acceptance letter on top of a stack of mail. Early in December, the Marine Corps notifies him that basic training starts in six months. She's dreamed about attending her mom's alma mater for the last few years, and admissions has responded positively. The auto shop where he's had an afterschool job since junior year has just promised full-time employment beginning two weeks after graduation.

Now what?

This question concerns me as an educator of K-12 and higher education.

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After the Thanksgiving week, which for many in America is symbolized by bounty, excess, and consumption of all stripes, I was struck by the value of seeing how people live in less wealthy parts of the world. Living on One Dollar is a full-length documentary made by four college students who traveled to rural Guatemala to live on just a dollar a day. Upon their return, they created Living On One, a nonprofit to raise awareness and inspire action around global issues like hunger and poverty -- and started by publishing the Change Series of video shorts. I found it so compelling I've dedicated this whole film fest to it. Each episode not only succinctly frames an issue faced by people in the developing world and makes it personal, but also offers resource links to learn more -- and even better -- to do something about it.

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Andrew MillerNovember 29, 2013

We have all been inspired by the San Francisco Bat Kid! To fully grasp what happened in that city in mid-November, watch these videos. It isn't every day that you see so many volunteers coming together to make a child's wish come true. In truth, creating that entire scenario for the San Francisco Bat Kid was a model PBL project.

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Thanksgiving is traditionally a time for reflecting on the things you're grateful for, and it's a known fact that practicing gratitude is a valuable tool for building character. Some say the other key to the pursuit of happiness is gratitude's counterpart, generosity. So I thought I'd kick off the season of giving by shining a little spotlight on simple acts of kindness that can have a huge impact: I've gathered ten videos about people giving back, paying it forward, and helping others -- to inspire us all to do the same this holiday season and all year long.

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Jeanine HarmonAugust 22, 2013

It's an exciting, creative time in our country. Running in lockstep with the technology boom is the maker movement, a whole legion of people interested in making and designing things themselves. There are builders, designers, tinkerers and do-it-yourselfers sharing their inventions, crafts and designs with a wider audience than ever before. Their work is accessible via websites, online magazines, hacker workspaces and maker fairs. This movement seems to be tapping into an unmet need that the technology world cannot satisfy on its own.

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Maurice EliasMay 31, 2013

It is all too rare for discussions of school culture and climate and SEL to focus explicitly on students with disabilities. A shining exception is the Inclusive Schools Climate Initiative (ISCI), a pilot project at Rutgers University, developed through a partnership with the Office of Special Education Programs at the NJ Department of Education.

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Philippe CousteauApril 25, 2013

My grandfather Jacques-Yves Cousteau was once quoted as saying, "Before we talk about the environment, we must talk about education." It's one of my favorite quotes of his because at its root is his belief in the power of youth to change the world. It's not only a belief I share, but one that I'm confident is our best opportunity to tackle some of biggest challenges facing our planet and the world community.

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Lori DesautelsApril 4, 2013

Anthropologist and humanist Ashley Montagu stated: "Love is profound involvement in the well-being of others." Several weeks ago, I experienced this kind of love in West Humboldt Park, an impoverished, gang-and-violence-infested inner city Chicago neighborhood.

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