24 March 2008

Service learning and the environment

I find planning for service learning doesn’t need to be exotic. When I think about it, the elements of project based learning are present in the current project we are working on: 1) students performing construction activities, 2) students are applying prior knowledge to learn, and 3) peer to peer collaboration is present. The one addition for service learning is that the students are helping others or helping the community with the effort being made.

In the barrel project discussed yesterday the students are helping others become aware of the environment. When the colorful barrels are placed around the zoo they will naturally draw the attention of visitors to the zoo. That attention alone is subtlety supporting those seeing the barrels to take care of the environment. Lastly, the essay that club members will collaborate to produce seals the effort to promote behaviors of recycling and reusing.

- This work involves the entire community as high school students around AZ have an opportunity to become involved and make a difference at one of Arizona’s most important cultural, educational, and environmental organizations.

- This project involves student and visitor education ... students learn about recycling, conservation, wildlife, and habitats as they create the barrel designs. Plus, visitors are visually reminded to recycle by the student art work.

- The barrels being used are actually being re-used so the work is doing what the end result is promoting.

Service learning can be fun, educational, and support the community. Have any good ideas for a service learning class effort?

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