Thursday, March 13, 2014

Kahne and Westheimer, In the Service of What?


          I found that this article was very interesting, and informative. It gave me a new perspective on how to think about service learning. Moral/social, political, and intellectual are the reason for service learning that were discussed within the reading. It is interesting to see how there is such a widespread involvement and interest in service learning, especially in the government. I personally think that service learning of all varieties is a great thing. I find it great to get tat sort of experience in the community, and as discussed in the article; it should be able to transform some of our views wit involvement in different community activities. I personally support the idea that "learning and service reinforce each other and should come together in America's schools".
          Throughout my own personal service learning experiences, which I was reflection upon constantly while reading this article, it was clear to me that they have had a huge positive impact on my life. Kahne and Westheimer are large believers in the idea that service learning should be able to teach you something. Also they believe that in order to get the most out of your experience with service learning, you need to put yourself  in the perspective of people that you are working with. In my experience this is definitely true, and has been a large aspect. Service learn has been able to teach me things that being in a classroom would never be able to do.
          The service learning that I have been involved with, and that I think have had the greatest impact on my life are definitely the Special Olympics program in my town, along with tutoring third graders in a classroom at Sackett Street Elementary. 
          Special Olympics is an amazing experience, I have been working with the same child for almost four years and once a week, yet I am still learning new things every time. It is amazing to see improvement and being able to make an impact in a childs life. This service learning experience is one of that main reason that I decided to become a Elementary Education Major with a focus in Special Ed. Without amazing experiences that service learning has provided me, I believe my life and my outlook on life would be drastically different. 
          At the classroom that I have been working in, I have learned so much,and I relieved to be able to say the the experience has left me still wanting to be a teacher and I am even more excited about it than I was prior to it. It has been great to be able to be working in an environment that I am not used to, the children are so eager and happy, and the classroom reminds me a lot of the one from my childhood. I like the idea the article talked about where you should be thinking about the causes and impacts and situations that the people in the community are going through. And how the service learning is affecting them. (I think it is definitely positive.)
         Service learning is something that I look forward to and it is truly such a pleasure to be able to be a part of it and experience all the joys and benefits that it provides for not only the individuals in the community, but also myself! It opens up many opportunities, and it has made me want to get involved in other service learning projects. I personally think that everybody should be involved in service learning at some point in their life; and I think it is important for high schools and middles schools to make service learning a graduation requirement. It should not and does not feel like a requirement, it is something that you feel honored to be a part of. It gives you the opportunity to be a part of the community, gain different experience, and get exposed to a culture or way of life or social class other than your own (so we can stop thinking about them as others).

This video is talking about the importance of service learning from people who have their own experiences with it. This specific one is more science based, but it still gives the idea about how important that service learning is and how these real world experiences are important. 


  1. Hey! I used your blog for my extended comments piece this week. So, I clearly liked and agreed everything you had to say!!! haha :) Check it out whenever you get the chance.

  2. hi Sarah! I really liked your post! I think is great how you are able to participate in the Special Olympics in your town and make a difference in the lives of the children and people you work with! I just agreed and liked all you said, and therefore my blog post will be an extended comment of your post, check it out, (well once I post it). Nice job!

  3. Hey Sarah!! I love how you connected this article to both your service learning with special olympics and in your classroom this semester. It was awesome to be able to think about how we've been able to help and learn at the same time throughout the reading. Nice Job!

  4. Sarah!! I loved your blog post this week :) I completely agreed with pretty much all of your points! I think it's awesome that you work with special Olympics and a child for FOUR years now! That's a long time and that's fantastic! I never knew that. I also agree with you when you said that "the experience has left me still wanting to be a teacher and I am even more excited about it than I was prior to it." Exactly how I feel. Keep up the good work!

  5. Hey Sarah! I loved your post! I think it's great how you connected this piece to our service learning projects at the elementary school and also service learning that you do in your town! I think that it is so awesome that you are involved in the Special Olympics program, that is such a great experience! Great video at the end too. Nice job!