Align Service Learning to Standards

Amidst the challenges of engaging a new school year following a year of pandemic, our teachers gathered again last week and showed their genuine commitment to the teaching and learning pedagogy of service-learning. We spent the afternoon working together to identify which of their academic (SOL), Five C’s, and social-emotional learning standards they planned to introduce through the student projects.

In last week’s session, CivicTREK teachers:

  • Shared out their own experiences with being community changemakers;
  • Reviewed and discussed how in service-learning, the student project is central to student learning, how standards frame the project, and how to incorporate rubrics;
  • Heard from CivicTREK alum Brittany Wiltrout about how she aligned her service learning to standards
  • Began to identify the content specific and Five C’s standards that meet their own teaching and learning goals; and
  • Surveyed a toolkit of prepared teacher- and student-directed resources and lesson plans to help students progress through the various project steps of “D-O-I-T” (Decide, Organize, Implement, and Tell About It).

In reflecting on the session, one teacher noted that they were looking forward to “Creating a standards-aligned project that has students build upon skills that are required but not integrated in the normal curriculum as well as they need to be.” Another CivicTREK teacher observed that they intended to build strategies learned into their own instructional practices, by “Looking through the standards for my grade and a grade above to see what skills are most important for them to develop that we might not be meeting as strongly in the current lessons.

We look forward to our next session, when teachers will begin to share specific project elements: timelines, milestones, and how they are assessing learning outcomes along the way. 


About Kyle Dunbar

Goal: create connected, global learning communities for adolescents in which they feel a higher sense of purpose for their lives (and to be a good mommy too!)

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