The authors Kahne and Westheimer argues the true meaning of service learning. At least, that's what I got from this topic... In many different points throughout the text, they say that when you do service learning - you're either doing it as a charity type of event or you're doing it as a type of "changing" event. Yet, in most cases, it does have to do with charity.
I guess in most ways, I would agree with both Kahne and Westheimer. Over the years, I have done many hours of volunteer work and student teaching. At first, I used to do it because it was required for my school. When I was in tenth grade, I would have never thought of randomly volunteering somewhere to "make a change", I was too lazy for that and didn't really think too much about it. It was a graduation requirement for school and I knew I had to get it done. After going to two different places, I already met my required amount of volunteer hours and I had not even completed my tenth grade school year. That's where I differ with Kahne and Westheimer's argument. Yes, I agree that "volunteer activities in either their school or community [is] a [requirement to] graduation from high school" (page 5), but some people, like myself, go above and beyond. I continuously volunteered for a variety of events. Of course, most of them had to do with working with children because being a teacher is my long-term goal in life. I volunteered at the East Providence Prevention Coalition for three years in a row to do activities based on Easter themed ideas, I volunteered two years in a row for the Autism Project, I volunteered at an elementary school to help the children do a play, and I did many more different places. Our required amount of volunteer hours had to be 15 hours, but by the time I walked across the stage to graduate from high school, I completed a total of 60 hours. So yes, in a way, I do believe that it is a charity thing to do service learning and most of the time it is required by schools, but sometimes people do it for other reasons. In addition, I interned at a preschool for three years, interned at a inclusive kindergarten classroom at the Trudeau Center, and I also interned at a 1st grade classroom at an elementary school. By doing all of these child-based volunteer hours, as well as all of my internships, I believe that has set a really good foundation for me becoming a teacher. Lastly, as Kahne and Westheimer said on page four, "much of the current discussion regarding service learning emphasizes charity. not change." I believe that service learning does emphasize change. All of us in FNED 346 are doing service learning because its a requirement, but we are going to be teachers and we will make a change. This is one step that is helping us and molding us into become great teachers. We're the future and we will make changes, and it all starts with service learning.
Considering I was talking about the Autism Project, I was just scrolling through YouTube and found this video. I thought you guys would enjoy it, it's so cute!