Schulz Information Center

“Higher education faculty who include service-learning as a pedagogy for teacher preparation provide their graduates with a dynamic instructional strategy that engages students in meaningful learning and empowers teachers with the skills needed to contribute significantly to broad-based school reform. ” 1
—Carol Myers and Terry Pickeral

SSU faculty member

Service-Learning in Literacy, Elementary and Early Education

Thank you for your interest in service-learning in Literacy, Elementary & Early Education. Service-learning, like student teaching placements are experiential, but tend to focus more on reciprocity and civic learning.

The CCE can help you create or deepen your service-learning class. We provide models of other courses, sample syllabi, resources for course construction, reflective analysis tools, and risk management support.

The integration of service-learning into teacher education implies work in two areas: (1) using service-learning as a pedagogical technique in the postsecondary setting, and (2) teaching licensure-seeking students how to integrate service-learning into their own repertoire of teaching techniques.


(1) Service-learning activity in a postsecondary setting usually falls into two categories:

Category A: Teaching/tutoring/sharing knowledge from the class

Example: Service-learners from Kentucky State University construct a concrete representation of a teaching concept which is left with preschool and elementary teachers for their future use.2

Category B: Using information in the class to doing something with/for a community organization.

Example: Service-learners from Gustavus Adolphus College tutor children in ESL classrooms.3

(2) Having the skills and experience to integrate service-learning themselves may be more valuable than participating in service-learning. Mary J. Syfax Noble, elementary school administrator in the Minneapolis Public Schools explains:

"[Service-learning] assists schools in making important connections to the broader community...is a critical part of the entire school-reform picture...because service-learning does not compete with the standard curriculum. It supports and deepens the curriculum for all students...An important first step is to make sure service-learning is tied into the school’s mission or vision." 4


Learn more about P-12 service-learning from these resources in the right sidebar.

Please contact us for more information.

Ellie Galvez-Hard has instructed several service-learning classes and may be willing and able to share advice.

Susan Campbell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Literacy in Elementary and Early Education.

1Service-Learning: An Essential Process for Preparing Teachers as Transformational Leaders in the Reform of Public Education.

2Program Models: Seattle University, Learning with the Community: Concepts and Models for Service Learning in Teacher Education.

3Program Models: Seattle University, Learning with the Community: Concepts and Models for Service Learning in Teacher Education.

All resources vailable in the CCE Resource Library.