Service-Learning in Educational Leadership & Special Education

Thank you for your interest in service-learning in Educational Leadership & Special Education. Service-learning, like student teaching placements are experiential, but tend to focus more on reciprocity and civic learning. ICCE can help you create or deepen your service-learning class. We provide models of other courses, sample syllabi,resources for course construction, reflective analysis tools, and risk management support.


Service-learning activity in a postsecondary setting usually falls into two categories:

Category A: Teaching/tutoring/sharing knowledge from the class

Example: Service-learners from Providence College worked with a local community center to develop and staff an after-school children’s program.3

Students establish a collaborative context for research and practice...an action research design is developed and implemented. After data are acquired, students develop a comprehensive plan for problem resolution and report their findings and results of their student to community collaborators...Throughout the course, reflective activity is pursued...at the conclusion of the course...community feedback is utilized to correct any possible misperceptions.4

Category B: Using information in the class to doing something with/for a community organization

Example: Clark Atlanta University EDA 610 Community Educational Leadership students work as a research team to identify a problem or issue of significance to the local community. For example, one project “focused on parent centers in local schools. Students developed an intensive, structured interview schedule supported by observation and document analysis.”

Having the skills and experience to integrate service-learning themselves may be more valuable than participating in service-learning. Mary J. Syfax Noble, elementary school administrator in the Minneapolis Public Schools explains:

[Service-learning] assists schools in making important connections to the broader community...is a critical part of the entire school-reform picture...because service-learning does not compete with the standard curriculum. It supports and deepens the curriculum for all students...An important first step is to make sure service-learning is tied into the school’s mission or vision.5


1From A K-12 Administrator's Perspective.

2[Learning With the Community: Concepts and Models for Service Learning in Teacher Education.

3Program Models: Seattle University, Learning with the Community: Concepts and Models for Service Learning in Teacher Education.

4Program Models: Seattle University, Learning with the Community: Concepts and Models for Service Learning in Teacher Education.

5A K-12 Administrator's Perspective.


Please contact ICCE for more information.