Service-Learning in Literacy, Elementary and Early Education

Thank you for your interest in service-learning in Literacy, Elementary & Early 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 Kentucky State University construct a concrete representation of a teaching concept which is left with preschool and elementary teachers for their future use.2

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

Example: Service-learners from Gustavus Adolphus College tutor children in ESL classrooms.3

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."4


1Service-Learning: An Essential Process for Preparing Teachers as Transformational Leaders in the Reform of Public Education

2Program Models: Seattle University, 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

4Learning With the Community: Concepts and Models for Service Learning in Teacher Education


Please contact ICCE for more information.