Capstone/Dissertation Title

Service learning: a progressive model for teachers

Term

2011

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAT

Abstract

The research question addressed is, what sort of flexible, yet progressive model would enable teachers and students to effectively engage in service learning? Given the range of teacher interests, attitudes and experiences with different forms of service learning, there needs to be a clearer understanding of service learning and the ways in which it can be effectively implemented in the classroom. This cohesive understanding of service learning is necessary in order to increase student achievement and create a civically educated citizenry. The basis of this model is the work of Harry Boyte, Dennis Donovon and Kevin LaNave, each of whom is active in social justice and civic education in Minnesota. Their programs for student engagement, along with survey results from local teachers across grade levels and content area, led to the creation of a four-tiered progressive model that provides descriptors, examples, and recommendations for implementing curriculum that teaches character, service, citizenship, and democracy. Rather than providing lesson plans, this model provides guiding questions and examples to change the mindset of teachers and lead them into discussions with students that generate authentic service learning experiences.

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