Friday, March 14, 2014

In the Service of What?


          I wanted to write a reflection this week because I felt like I could relate this article to our service learning project that we are currently doing. The article "In the Service of What? The Politics of Service Learning" by Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer had a few pressing points that I felt where important in regards to the topic of Service Learning. 
Kahne and Westheimer say that service learning can be seen as two different concepts charity or change. You can volunteer your time to charity by making Thanksgiving baskets for the homeless without any interaction with the homeless themselves. Versus making a change by volunteering in a classroom on a weekly basis and actually working with the kids and seeing them progress during the time your there. When you're working for charity you usually don't see for your self who actually needs those Thanksgiving baskets that you're making, thus creating a giving relationship. Versus when you are making a change, the relationship you are building has more of an impact on you life and theirs because you have to be apart of their life in order to understand their situation and help them.
          Service learning should definitely be made a requirement for all high schools because it gives you a well rounded outlook on life from multiple perspectives. During my four years of high school I performed over 500 community service hours, this was easy for me to do because I chose to do things that I would have fun doing while making a change. Some of the things I've done are Special Olympics, volunteering at an Art Literacy Camp in the summer at my old elementary school. With both of these organizations I have worked with children with and without special needs both were very rewarding and I feel like I have become a better person because of it. 
          This article obviously made me reflect on my service learning project for FNED, that I am performing in a first grade class at Pell Elementary in Newport. All I can say is these kids desperately need one on one attention through out the school day but it's usually just the teacher and I in the classroom when I am there. I'm only there in the morning from 8:30-10:30 and many days I have considered staying for the whole day just so that the teacher has someone else in the classroom with her, because a lot of the kids have severe behavioral issues and can't last five minutes with out antagonizing another kid, acting out or telling on one another. The thing is most of them are capable of doing the work they just have either problems going on at home that are carrying over into the classroom or their behavioral issues aren't being taken care of by social workers or there parents so the teacher has to handle it when they come to school. This disrupts the learning process making it difficult for them to move on from grade to grade if they aren't able to pay attention in school. Regardless I like to believe the service that I am performing is making a change in the students and as I have gotten to know them I've built relationships with them. 
This website describes the meaning of service learning and gives examples of some projects that have been done and some opportunities to perform such projects


  1. Awesome job! Although I used someone else's blog for mine this week; I really learned from your ideas and liked how you took what the author's were stating throughout this reading and made real life examples out of what we can do for Service Learning. :)

  2. Hey! I really liked your post! I l enjoyed reading it and seeing how much you like to volunteer and making a difference in the lives of others such as the students in Pell Elementary where you do your SL f FNED =) Nice job!

  3. hey! great post this week! love the pictures you included and that you mentioned your experience of performing over 500 hours within four years of high school, thats so great! again, nice post this week :)

  4. hey, it's awesome that you've done so many hours of service ! this was a great post and I could tell you had a real connection with the article this week, nice job :)

  5. Hey I really liked your post this week! I loved hearing about all your community service, when I was in high school I graduated with about 300 hours of community service myself. But overall, I enjoyed reading about your connection to this weeks reading and how your service learning it going ! great job !

  6. Hey Mariah. I just wanted to let you know that I decided to do my own blog post this week as a set of extended comments on your blog post here. I think you did a great job of extracting the main points from the article and relating them back to your own experience, which is why I chose to write about your blog. Nice job!