About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1156-1161
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain


L. Jones

University of Houston - Clear Lake (UNITED STATES)
Creating a sense of community in the classroom is paramount for an atmosphere that encourages and facilitates learning. Scholars such as Krashen (1982), Maslow (1943), and Gay (2000) have argued that having a space where students feel safe, welcome, and important must precede any type of learning. Numerous studies (Choi & Kim, 2003; Flook, Repetti, & Ullman, 2005) support the importance of peer relationships in the learning process. Students who are not accepted by their peers generally do not perform as well academically as some of their more popular classmates. Teachers within diverse classrooms must create an atmosphere that promotes community if they want their students to succeed both socially and academically. Once such objectives are conveyed and understood, students can engage in service learning projects that enhance their quality of education.

Service learning seeks to transform both the student and the community. Ideally, service learning promotes active learning, fosters a sense of caring for others in the community, and extends learning beyond the doors of the school (National Commission on Service Learning, 2002). Because of the changing demographics of communities, participating in school/community focused projects can increase (a) a sense of social responsibility and connectedness to communities, (b) a sense of community efficacy, (c) a valuation of systematic approaches to social problems, and (d) racial tolerance (Dunlap, 2000).

Thus, this paper will examine why creating community in the classroom is a precursor for implementing a service learning project in the classroom. More importantly, this paper will discuss how to implement a service learning project in a teacher education course. Such a project serves two specific purposes: 1) to illuminate pertinent community establishments, resources, or services in the district that the student may not be aware of and could be beneficial to the school in general, 2) to help students who participate in the service learning activities or community service projects better relate to their students and the students’ families in the various districts.

As school environments become more diverse and as societies become global communities, there is a need for preservice and inservice teachers to understand the community resources that surround the school. To that end, students should be engaged in service learning projects to build stronger school and environmental communities.

- Choi, D.H., & Kim, J. (2003). Practicing social skills training for young children with low peer acceptance: A cognitive-social learning model. Early Childhood Education Journal 31(1), 41-46.
- Dunlap, M. (2000). Reaching out to children and families. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
- Flook, L., Repetti, R.L., & Ullman, J. B. (2005). Classroom social experiences as predictors of academic performance. Developmental Psychology, 41 (2), 319-327.
- Gay, G. (2000). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research and practice. New York: Teachers College Press.
- Krashen, S. (1982). Principles and practice in second language acquisition. New York: Pergamon Press.
- Maslow A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50, 370-396.
- NCSL (National Commission on Service Learning). (2002). Learning in Deed. Available from Learning in Deed: The Power of Service-Learning for American Schools.
author = {Jones, L.},
series = {3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-2439-9},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {15-17 November, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {1156-1161}}
AU - L. Jones
SN - 978-84-614-2439-9/2340-1095
PY - 2010
Y1 - 15-17 November, 2010
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2010 Proceedings
SP - 1156
EP - 1161
ER -
L. Jones (2010) SERVICE LEARNING IN THE CLASSROOM, ICERI2010 Proceedings, pp. 1156-1161.