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Civic Education

The National Center for Learning and Citizenship


Educators’ Perceptions of How Schools Can Foster Successful Service-Learning PDF - In 2010, the National Center for Learning and Citizenship (NCLC) established the Schools of Success, a national network of 19 schools that use service-learning as an instructional strategy. The schools were part of a three-year project to examine how the elements of service-learning might enhance key student outcomes, such as academic performance and civic engagement. Through this project, the NCLC also has gathered information on school administrators' and teachers’ perceptions of the facilitators and barriers to successful service-learning. In general, teachers and administrators identified lack of time as the most critical barrier to service-learning success. (Paul Baumann, ECS, February 2013)...

NCLC Schools of Success Network Shows that Service-Learning Quality Matters PDF - A new report about the National Center for Learning and Citizenship's Schools of Success program clearly points to at least one simple and clear conclusion: The quality of service-learning matters. Robust data from 19 schools across the country show that high-quality service-learning has a significant and positive relationship with students' academic engagement, educational aspirations, acquisition of 21st century skills, and community engagement. (Paul Baumann, ECS, November 2012) ...

Network News: Sustaining Service-Learning in Your School: Staying the Course PDF - Over the past year and a half, we have framed issues of Network News around identifying quality service-learning best practices and implementation. In this, our final installment, we look closely at what it takes to sustain service-learning, and offer ideas for how to anchor service-learning in curricula and bolster the wonderful programs taking place in the Schools of Success network schools. (Lisa Guilfoile, ECS, July 2012) ...

Network News: High Quality Reflection PDF - Quality reflection is essential to helping students glean the most from their service-learning projects. This issue examines the attributes of good reflection and its ability to help participants learn what they need to learn, recognize the real-world application of their work and appreciate the richness of their service experience. (Lisa Guilfoile, ECS, March 2012)...

Network News: Linking Service-Learning to the Curriculum PDF - Generating ideas for service-learning projects with strong links to curriculum can be a daunting process for some practitioners. Yet those clear and intentional connections separate service from service-learning, and are much more likely to create the kind of learning that positively impacts students and the community being served. This issue focuses on strategies for connecting service to core learning outcomes in ways that make learning meaningful and stimulating for students—hopefully answers the familiar student question, "Why do I need to know this?"...

Network News - Cultivating Youth Voice in Service-Learning PDF - This issue addresses a challenge that service-learning practitioners are all too familiar with - how to effectively cultivate youth voice without compromising project quality and the learning experience itself. Learn about specific challenges teachers face around youth voice, and some tried-and-true strategies for engaging all students more holistically in the service-learning process. Peruse a list of excellent resources on youth voice, upcoming funding opportunities for service-learning and civic engagement projects and latest news from the field....

Network News, July 2011 PDF - Documenting and Archiving Service-Learning over Time: It’s Not Just a Story Anymore -- This issue focuses on a challenge faced by many service-learning teachers and practitioners in the field - how to effectively document and archive service-learning projects. Learn more about tools and strategies teachers can use to chronicle their project work, while enhancing students' learning experience and creating a collection of quality projects to share with the larger learning community. Get the latest on the District Leaders and Schools of Success network member advocacy, and find out what funding opportunities are available around service-learning and civic engagement. ...

Network News: Measuring Service-Learning's Impact on Community PDF - This issue highlights the importance of measuring service-learning's impact on the community being served and ways to effectively measure that impact. Learn more about the difference between 'Needs' versus 'Strengths' assessments and how those tools can set the tone for community partners' service-learning experiences with students and schools. Get the latest on who's doing what in the District Leaders and Schools of Success networks, and check out what funding opportunities are available around service-learning and civic engagement. (Education Commission of the States, May 2011)...

Network News: February 2011 PDF - The Network News, a monthly publication for members of the District Leaders and Schools of Success networks, is created by the National Center for Learning and Citizenship (NCLC) at the Education Commission of the States (ECS). This publication provides practical strategies for K-12 quality service-learning design and implementation, important dates and events, and news of member advocacy efforts in the field....

Service Learning: Does it matter? - Access related research titles from the ECS Research Studies Database. Links embedded in titles will take you to each study's major findings and recommendations....

The Progress of Education Reform: Service-Learning PDF - The term service-learning is used frequently these days, but confusion remains as to what it is and why it matters. More importantly, are there any measurable benefits? This issue of The Progress of Education Reform looks at four research studies that explore the impact of service-learning on student achievement and civic engagement....

Service-Learning and Hispanic Students: What Works in the Field PDF - This report examines best practices in educating Hispanic students and improving student graduation rates and matriculation into higher education. The author sought to determine whether successful schools implemented different practices for Hispanic students and how successful service-learning was as a pedagogical approach. (Tiffani Lennon, Education Commission of the States, July 2009)...

Service-Learning Policies and Practices: A Research-Based Advocacy Paper PDF - This paper translates service-learning’s research-based evidence for education leaders and identifies best practices and policies. Learn more about the five critical components for effectiveness: vision and leadership, curriculum and assessment, community-school partnerships, professional development and continuous improvement. (Education Commission of the States, NCLC, September 2008) ...

Transforming Students into Active Stewards of Democracy -- A report on the U.S.-U.K. seminar Political Literacy and Service-Learning: The Role of Schools and Their Communiti PDF - Proceedings from a 2005 joint seminar between U.S. and United Kingdom service-learning and citizenship education experts and practitioners, this report presents information on the similar challenges both countries face in promoting and implementing political literacy and citizenship education programs. (Dale DeCesare, Education Commission of the States, 2006)...

Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar E. Chavez: Legacies of Leadership and Inspiration for Today’s Civic Education PDF - Hundreds of public schools and streets are named after either Martin Luther King Jr. or Cesar E. Chavez, although their lasting influence, particularly regarding the civic mission of schools, extends much further. To demonstrate this lasting influence, this issue paper provides: (1) lessons from the work of King and Chavez that can help educators and policymakers think more deeply about ways in which awareness and advocacy can be strengthened to support the civic mission of schools; (2) examples of ways in which schools are using the King and Chavez legacies; and (3) recommendations for policymakers that use the legacies to create opportunities for effective civic education in America's schools. (Anthony Welch and Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Education Commission of the States, September 2005)...

NCLCE Schools of Success #5: Service-Learning May Influence Attendance, Performance PDF - In its fifth Schools of Success report, the National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement looked at the relationships between students’ participation in service-learning and academic performance and school attendance. In several instances, the attendance of students who participated in service-learning activities was statistically higher than their peers who did not participate in service-learning. (Paul Baumann, ECS, March 2014)...

With Common Core Standards, Why Service-Learning Matters Even More - The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) argues that providing children with optimum learning experiences transferable to their lives outside of school guides them to adulthood with a solid sense of personal efficacy and strengthens their ability to make choices and decisions that are healthy for themselves and our society. (NASSP, May 2013)...

What Value Does Service Learning Have on Introductory Engineering Students' Motivation and ABET Program Outcomes? - A quasi-experimental study was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of using a service learning (SL) method on influencing introductory engineering students’ motivation and ABET program outcomes, compared to the effectiveness of using a conventional, non-service-learning (NSL) method. Results showed that the SL method was significantly more effective than the NSL method in terms of positively influencing students’ interests, recognition of relevance, and satisfaction in learning and their self-assessed engineering abilities in three out of 11 ABET program outcomes. Interpretation of the results, application of the results to the course redesign, and recommendations for other engineering educators are provided. (The Institute for STEM Education and Research, July 2012)...

Advancing Civic Learning and Engagement in Democracy: A Road Map and Call to Action - This U.S. Department of Education report highlights nine steps the Department will take to advance civic learning and democratic engagement, including adding civic indicators to national student surveys, promoting public service internships and careers, and leveraging federal programs and public-private partnerships. In addition, the report discusses service-learning as an effective practice in promoting civic learning. (U.S. Department of Education, January 2012)...

Youth Volunteering in the States: 2002 to 2009 - This fact sheet provides rates of volunteering for teenagers and young adults by state in 2002 through 2009. It also summarizes state policies relevant to youth volunteering. Much of the important variation is actually at the local level; to illustrate how communities differ, this fact sheet provides quick profiles of Boston, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Seattle (where youth volunteers have very different profiles) and the state of Maryland. (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, January 2011)...

Growing to Greatness 2010: The State of Service Learning - This document explores the state of K-12 service-learning in the United States. This year's edition explores two themes: (1) service-learning teaching quality; and (2) breaking down barriers to service-learning. It also includes profiles of eight national organizations working to bring service learning to young people across the country. (National Youth Leadership Council, 2010)...

Urban Matters: Improving City Schools and Bridging - In this collection of articles, researchers, teachers and other service-learning practitioners, administrators and students look at the promise of service-learning in urban areas and document what we know about what works, where we are now, and what practices have potential for the future. (National Youth Leadership Council, 2009)...

Community Servicer and Service-Learning in America's Schools - This report provides an in-depth look at the prevalence of community service and service-learning in public schools and provides insight into recent trends. The report found that the prevalence of community service has risen in K-12 schools, up to 64% from a similar study conducted in 1999. While school-based community-service has remained robust, the percentage of schools with service-learning declined from 32% in 1999 to 24% in 2008. (Corporation for National and Community Service, November 2009)...

Engaged for Success: Service-Learning as a Tool for High School Dropout Prevention - This report, prepared for the 2008 National Conference on Citizenship, presents original and secondary research that shows the ability of service-learning to address some of the principle causes of dropping out. (Civic Enterprises and Peter D. Hart Research Associates, 2008)...

High School Community Service as a Predictor of Adult Voting and Volunteering - The influences of high school community service participation, extracurricular involvement and civic knowledge on voting and volunteering were examined using the National Educational Longitudinal Study. The major finding is that both voluntary and school-required community service in high school were strong predictors of adult voting and volunteering. (Daniel Hart, Thomas Donnelly, James Youniss and Robert Atkins, American Educational Research Journal, March 2007)...


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