Sunday, March 15, 2015

"In the Service of What?" - Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer

I love this quote from JFK and the fact that the article started out with it, if we could all think like this there would be a lot more change happening in the country.

 "Service learning makes students active participants in service projects that aim to respond to the needs of the community while furthering the academic goals of students." (pg 2) 

This quote is basically saying that students who participate in service learning projects are bettering the lives of others by helping them as well as bettering their education by getting a real life experience of what they are being taught in the classroom. I agree with this quote completely, since I have been doing my service learning I have been able to connect so much more with the readings and discussions that we have in class and I always find myself thinking back on the things I have learned in class while I am at the school. also I have been working one on one with a particular child and I really feel that I am making a difference in his learning, it is such a rewarding feeling to know that I am helping him and possibly bettering his future.

"This experience and others like it, quite common in the literature of service learning, emphasize charity more than change. The experience was structured to promote giving rather than to provide the kind of understanding needed for the development of caring relationships. As a result, the student's description of the event lacked the perspective and input of those she was helping." (pg 7)

This was said after a student wrote about her experience feeding the elderly on Thanksgiving. After reading this I realized that often times when people give to the less fortunate they focus on how it makes them feel, rather than how they are making the people in need feel. Often times you will hear people talk about wanting to help out in a soup kitchen, but most of the time they do it to make themselves feel better not because they actually want to make a difference in somebody else's life. most people will go and serve the people food and make small talk with them for the time being and then leave happy because they did something nice for another person, but after that they will not think about it again, they don't think about how those people are doing a week from then. I think this is why there is not as much change in the world because people do things for others to make themselves feel like a better person.

 "The experiential and interpersonal components of service learning activities can achieve the first crucial step toward diminishing the sense of "otherness" that often separates students-particularly privileged students-from those in need." (pg 8)
This made me thin of  McIntosh and racism this was said after children for a more privileged school went and performed for other children at a less privileged school, before going to the school they were scared and thought the students were going to be rude and mean, and then after going to the school they realized that the students at that school were not much different than them. they only believed bad things about children from that neighborhood because of what their parents told them. the service learning helped to diminish the differences between the two schools and actually brought them together. The parents of these children without even realizing it were being racist and in tainting their children's minds with racist thoughts, the service learning helped to change that.

Talking Point: do you feel that you are making a difference in the children's lives while doing the service learning project?


  1. I love the quotes that you chose! Those all stuck out to me, as well. I also LOVE your talking point. I think we should discuss that in class because it is so important. The article talks about how significant community service is and we should be able to prove through the SLP that it is or isn't. Nice job :)

  2. I really like the second quote you chose and the comments you made regarding it. It wasn't really a quote that stuck out to me at first glance, but what you said about people focusing on how service learning makes them feel opposed to how it makes the people they are helping feel was very interesting. I didn't really think about how people often participate in community service for their own benefit. Thanks!

  3. Hi Arionna! I'm going to do an extended blog on your blog!

  4. I think that the quotes you chose were great! You did a great job with the personal connections. I feel the same way about my service learning.

  5. I liked the quotes you used here and I also like the talking point you chose because I also talk about worrying if we are helping the children we work with learn as much as we are trying to teach them and if it is making an impact.

  6. The quotes you chose were very interesting and you did a great job explaining them. You did a nice job connecting the article to your personal experiences and other articles. Lastly, you're talking point was very interesting. Before reading this article I thought our service learning was going to be beneficial to the student and now I'm not so sure. Great job!