Human Rights Class in a Box for Higher Education: Service Learning Program
Service-learning definition: a teaching and learning approach that integrates community service with academic study to enrich learning, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.
“When education takes a hands-on approach to learning, the result is a more informed, more involved community
of future leaders. Service learning brings substance to our democracy and strengthens the thread that binds our diverse nation”. Former Lady Michelle Engler, Michigan
Specifically, service-learning accomplishes the following:
• Reverses student disengagement from schooling by giving students responsibility for their own learning
and increasing their motivation to participate in school activities
• Reinforces and extends the standards-based reform movement by providing a real-life context for learning and giving students a sense of the practical importance of what they are learning in school
• Promotes the public purposes of education by preparing students for citizenship through involvement
in citizen action
• Builds on the growing willingness of students to become involved in service to their communities while adding an academic component to such service
• Contributes to young people’s personal and career development by reducing violence and increasing their sense of responsibility and workplace skills (National Commission on Service-Learning)
Service-learning has become one of the most important educational reform movements in the United States. National research shows that students participating in service-learning show improvements in academic achievement, career preparation, feelings of self-efficacy, behavior, attendance, and civic engagement. Service Learning is a known national best practice that engages students in democratic thinking, civic responsibility, and bridging cultural differences.
International Solidarity for Human Rights will offer presentations and orientation sessions to prepare students to teach others about the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Human Rights Academic Service Learning program reinforces
- The ability of communicate effectively to a captive audience.
- Useful communication skills.
- The mission to raise awareness of civil liberties that are based in the respect and exercise of human rights.
- Knowledge of ethical thinking.
- How to formulate strategies, to locate, evaluate and apply information.