Sunday, March 15, 2015

Kahne&Westheimer: In Service of What? The Politics of Service Learning

“...ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country"
This quote is in President John F. Kennedy's inaugural address. It means that we should not only better ourselves, but better our environment and others around us as well. It connects to the service learning that we do every week for this class. In doing the service learning we are helping shape the minds of the youth of America. When we become teachers in America, we will be shaping the minds of children in our classrooms and giving them knowledge that they can use in their lives. Especially elementary school teachers because they are the first teachers than children are exposed to in the school system and create their foundation for their education and learning.

“… More attention has been focused on moving forward than on asking where we are headed”
Instead of looking at the big picture, teachers recently have been focusing on just getting their students through a lesson. In this state of mind students pick up a bad attitude towards learning and school. This is exactly what I want to try and avoid in my classroom. Retaining and applying knowledge is important, spitting back facts is not learning. The children need to know how to think analytically and ask important questions. This is what I am trying to do in my service learning. Just because a child knows what an answer is on a test does now mean that he/she retained the information. I try to use tricks and devices so the topic sticks in their brain. It shows that I am in this for the greater good, not just to get through it. I want both the students and myself to get as much out of this experience as possible, as well as my other community service opportunities.

“In contrast, much of the current discussion regarding service learning emphasizes charity, not change.”
There is a difference in answering phone calls for a CEO of a company and hands on working with children with learning disabilities. Both count as community service but one is much more meaningful than the other. They both count towards hours of service but there is a huge difference in the amount of effort and worldly change that is put into the projects. In high school I was part of the National Honor Society. This means I did not only need to reach my high school requirement of hours of community service but I needed an extra number of hours to stay in the society. I tried my hardest in high school as well as college to volunteer in many helpful situations rather than just to get it over with. I helped an elderly couple multiple times per week with errands and just talked to them and listened to their stories until their passing. I worked hands on with children of all ages. I taught fourth graders basic French, and I did some other projects that I feel actually contributed to bettering the world rather than getting coffee for someone who barely would know I exist. I believe the point of community service is to actually serve the community in a helpful way.

Point to bring up in class: What community service that you have completed opportunities changed you or moved you the most? Why do you think that is?
Image result for community service logo

1 comment:

  1. I love your picture of Drew Carey! It's too true. In regards to your point to discuss in class: I volunteer so much of my time to serve in different ministries at my church and I know that there is nothing better than the feeling of having purpose and helping others.