In the Service of what?
Charity vs Change
By Kahne and Westheimer
1. "The curriculum theorists and education reformers wanted students to engage in service learning projects so that they would recognize that their academic abilities and collective commitments could help them respond to meaningful way to a variety of social concerns"
In terms of charity versus change Kahne and Wertheimer make it clear here that they want to emphasize what makes service learning lean more towards "change" rather than charity. In this example the students are well informed about the people they are going to help. The students are given this information and then they are expecting to try to fix the situation at hand. This also presents a different approach to service learning. What they are promoting here is that in the class room there should be open and honest conversation about the experiences had during service learning. This is not only a way of helping the students handle situations they've experienced, the teacher is also helping the other students by giving them an opportunity to learn from other students experiences and make their own adjustments. This leads to more effective service learning and emphasizes the "learning" aspect of service learning.
2. "Altruism can best be appreciated as an experience rather than an abstraction."
Boyer states that the objective of service learning is to be "altruistic." Simply put, being altruistic is the behavior of giving to another person at your own expense, Essentially being selfless. In Mr. Johnsons example he had his class volunteer their time at a veterans memorial center on Thanksgiving. This is a case of charity, the children are offering their time in order to help feed the homeless and getting nothing tangible in return. However they all see the personal benefit being the positive feeling of doing something good and being a good person.
3. Many agree with sen. Kennedy, who writes that "democracy means.... the responsibility to give something back to America in return for all that it has give us."
As American citizens it is our civic duty to give back to our communities. We are given so much that we take for granted. Our towns provide an education and recreational sports for our youth. The state lends a hand to people who do not have the means to support themselves, whether that means they get money to survive and stay off the streets or to help large families put enough food on the table to live a healthy life. We as citizens should feel the need to give more than just our tax money. We should know that our tax money a lot of the time comes right back to us in the form of roads, parks, and public services. So as a good citizen we should appreciate what we have and be willing to give back to the community whatever we can.