Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

Unpacking John Dewey’s Connection to Service-Learning
Titus O. Pacho

Service-learning is a pedagogy that integrates community service with academic study, reflection and analysis to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities. Research on servicelearning is on the increase throughout the globe since its emergence in the United States in the 1990s. However, the application of the pedagogy seems not to balance well its fundamental components of service, reflection and learning. Many students tend to care more about the service than about reflecting on it and viewing it as a learning experience. More needs to be done about the practice of service-learning while remaining faithful to Dewey’s original ideas of experiential learning, and reflective thought and action, which form the bedrock for service-learning. This article critically examines the logical connection of Dewey’s thoughts to service-learning with an aim of providing guidance to the pedagogy.

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