Service learning is one of the best experiences I've had. Being able to serve in a public school in providence is simply life changing. I have the opportunity to start teaching young students music and make a difference. I don't consider service learning a chore or a requirement for FNED 346. I see it as a start of my journey to becoming a music teacher. I never participated in service learning before I came to Rhode Island College. I learned from this read that some high schools require service learning or some type of volunteer work to graduate. Since, service learning today is mostly considered a requirement to either graduate or for a class. Do the students or participants learn or receive a positive experience because of service learning? Sadly, that statement is questionable. Service learning is considered volunteer work and people either don't have the time or simply wish not to participate sometimes. Making service learning a requirement at some schools and in other programs is forcing people to take part in the service learning experience. I personally think that people should experience service learning. It will change their lives for the better and can ultimately create a positive society.
I read Shannon's Blog about this article and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I think that are stories and experiences are similar considering we are both music education majors and have the same teacher for our service learning. I agree with Shannon about "directly and indirectly using service learning". I was glad that Kahne and Westheimer talked about these differences. Service learning is considered either a charity or a change. The best way to describe the difference between the two is from the quote on a worksheet Dr. Bogad gave out during class by Nessa Sylvia. Nessa wrote "In this Essay, Kahne and Westheimer discuss two different viewpoints on service learning: the charity view and the change view. Those who support the charity viewpoint want to promote a sense of altruism in students by encouraging them to focus on the rewarding emotional experience of volunteerism. Those who support the change viewpoint want to encourage students to think critically about the socioeconomic state, how dominant ideology works to create inequalities, and how it might be reconstructed." Service learning can be categorized as either charity or change. Both categories make a difference in my opinion. Whether or not you make a long-term change or a short-term charity, it makes a difference.
Shannon did a great job of talking about the two different cases in this read. The one aspect that she wrote about was the "caring and personal relationships" that can be formed from this type of work. I personally believe that the connections and relationships you create make the service learning experience remarkable. Shannon and I have the same teacher for service learning and I can relate to her experiences. I've also made a close bond with the students over the semester. I definitely plan on visiting and continuing my services throughout the rest of their school year. Shannon talks about the students as her students, and they are my students as well. Being able to help teach these kids the one thing I love is life changing. The service learning that I'm in is the best way to start my career as a music teacher. This experience has solidified my decision and is the reason I want to teach music. If I had to categorize the service learning we engage in, I would call it a change. Making this change while creating great relationships with others is momentous. I have had some great experiences throughout my life. Service learning in a Providence school is by far the greatest experience to this day for me.