Community communications regarding services and education


Origin and Development of Service Learning


     In 1989, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization convened the “Seminar on the 21st Century”, and pointed out that the challenge of morals, ethics, and values could be the most important one humanity will face in the 21st century. In order to meet this challenge, various countries drew up countermeasures and sought an outlet through education reform. (CommonWealth Magazine, 2003)
   In view of “The abilities needed by 21st century professionals”, the American School Superintendent Association invited experts from various domains to draw on the wisdom of the masses, and they introduced three categories of abilities: The first category is studies ability, the second category is individual ability, and the third category is citizen ability, which includes responsibility, autonomy, honesty and other personal abilities, as well as the ability to respect others and to understand and appreciate multiple cultures. However, in the past, schools have only stressed the first category. (CommonWealth Magazine 2003)
As the family structure is facing disintegration, the family function of transmitting core value has gradually lost power, and the role of school becomes more important. Civic education lays a foundation in the family, starts in the school, and is practiced in society, and the school and teachers become links on the mainstay to connect family and society.
      In 2002, the US established the USA Freedom Corps, and passed Principles and Reforms for a Citizen Service Act, to provide subsidy collected from community service for all levels of school and local organizations that implement service learning; furthermore, special attention was paid to the evaluation of the service plan. As a result, US higher education has established service learning resources center one after another, and it has become a new teaching method to combine academic curriculum and service. (Feng Li-Ya, 2003).

      In recent years, the Ministry of Education vigorously promoted the higher education organization to implement service learning curriculums; for example, in the “High Quality General Education Curriculum Program”, service learning is regarded as “the action-related/solution-centric general education curriculum”, and it encourages national public and private colleges to apply it (Ministry of Education, 2008).



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