(Reprinted with permission from The Social Studies Educator.)
In its broadest definitions service learning might be characterized as any program that attempts to link academic study with service. A particular strength of this book is that it focuses on both the outcomes and the process of service learning. Practitioners are discovering a pressing need for solid empirical research about learning outcomes as academic service learning continues to grow rapidly. This timely volume is the first to explore service learning as a valid learning activity. The authors present extensive data from two groundbreaking national research projects Their studies include a large national survey focused on attitudes and perceptions of learning, intensive student interviews before and after the service semester, and additional comprehensive interviews to explore student views of the service learning process. The research on which this book is based was awarded the 1998 Outstanding Research Award by the National Society for Experimental Education. Janet Eyler and Dwight Giles Jr. are both pioneers and leaders in the field of service learning. Faculties which are interested in offering service learning courses will find information to assist and improve instruction. Program directors and other practitioners will gain empirical support to help promote service learning efforts. Student services and administrative professionals will develop an understanding of how service learning connects to curriculum. This comprehensive, nontechnical book will serve readers from all types of college and university campuses.
This unsigned review first appeared in The Social Studies Educator, from which it is reprinted with permission.