In The Service Of What? The Politics of Service Learning
I used this post as extended comments from Elyssa's reflection on this article.
I agree that the students would get more out of the experience in Ms. Adams' class project than Mr. Johnson's. All the students in Mr. Johnson's class tried to be a part of the solution but they did not try to hard to find the exact root of the problem. Ms. Adams' class examined all aspects of homelessness such as political, social, and economic causes.
I also kind of agree with her point about service learning having a negative effect. In my high school it was a requirement to do a certain number of community service hours. When senior week came along we all were separated and divided among different community service opportunities. I was required to go to the Greater Boston Food Bank. All we did was divide foods that were brought in as donations. I honestly did not feel like i knew where it would go, how it would be distributed, or anything like that. I only felt as though I was doing this just so I could graduate. We never had any interactions with the people we would be helping which would probably have been a better way of showing us what we are doing to help.
Elyssa makes a good point about how in order to help the less fortunate to the best of our ability, we must have a hands on first hand look at the problem.