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Service Learning

Service learning is a pedagogical and andragogical approach in which student learning outcomes are realized concomitantly with meeting the needs of a community organization.

  • Campus Compact of the Mountain West provides resources to support service learning

  • Systems Theory Service Learning (STSL)

    • Simon et al. (2013) call for higher education curriculum that integrates systems theory with service learning to enable an interdisciplinary approach to solving complex environmental problems. Systems theory, originally proposed by Bertalanffy (1968), brings together cross-disciplinary expertise to solve complex environmental problems encouraging a holistic, non-reductionist mode. This approach integrated into pedagogy mirrors the broader recognition that the Earth’s most urgent problems cannot be effectively solved by only one discipline; interdisciplinary approaches will be required (Fortuin, 2011). When systems theory is coupled with service learning and students share their research with community members or stakeholders, they gain skills in communicating both within and outside of the field as well as further environmental awareness and a sense of civic responsibility (Simon et al, 2013).

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