Sunday, March 14, 2010

Talking Point 5

Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer wrote the article, “In The Service Of What? The Politics of Service Learning.” This article was basically about how service learning can be such an educational, personal, and life changing experience. They try to explain that service learning can benefit the volunteers and the world, and that it is not just charity work. In the service of what is the question, what they (the authors) are trying to do, is answer it. Here are three quotes that I felt were the main points of this article:

1.) “…service learning can improve the community and invigorate the classroom, providing rich educational experience for students at all levels of schooling.” (2)
- I feel that service learning is something that everyone should try to take part in. Using the community as a classroom is a great idea because it gets people involved and it shows that they can make a difference not only in others lives, but in theirs as well. Service learning gives its volunteers experience and insight on different situations which they may not recognize or deal with on a day-to-day basis.

2.) “Students tutor, coach softball, paint playgrounds, and read to the elderly because they are interested in people, or because they want to learn a little about poverty and racism before they head out into the waiting corporate world… We do not volunteer “to make a statement,” or to use the people we work with to protest something. We try to see the homeless man, the hungry child, and the dying woman as the people they are, not the means to some political end.” (10)
- Service learning is not just charity work, it is a way for people to observe, discover, learn, help, and achieve. Using the world as a classroom helps students to actually see and take part in reality. Getting the children involved in their own communities teaches them that they don’t have to be an adult, super hero, or president to make a difference. It is a way to see the world as it is, and it may give them the confidence to help them make it a better place.

3.) “Citizenship requires that individuals work to create, evaluate, criticize, and change public institutions or programs.” (10)
- Service learning is a great opportunity to change our understanding or perspective on life. It also can help our country become one step closer to having peace on earth. But if the government forces its people to do community service – then that means they are practically forcing change onto its people. This does not leave much room for opportunity or for people to give up their time with open eyes and hearts in order for them to help others and learn. It won’t be volunteering, it will just be people at work with no pay. This is where the volunteers look at the people they are serving as “clients rather than a resource.”

Here is an Ad featuring President Obama, saying how volunteering can make a difference…

This is a great website to find out more about volunteering and how it has made a difference in the world of which we live…