From Diversifying Economic Quality: A Wiki for Instructors and Departments
Service learning is a teaching method where community service is integrated into the curriculum to provide a richer academic experience. This method is considered to be a branch of experiential learning
Examples of Service Learning
How to Incorporate Service Learning
Models of Service Learning
Since service learning is a relatively new technique to be used in the field of economics there has yet to be studies comparing one section of a class practicing service learning to another section that is taught in the traditional methods.
Although, studies of this nature have been conducted in other fields, which is demonstrated through a study conducted by Berston and Younkin. In their study, comparing paired courses, or courses where one section was required to participate in 20 hours of service learning in addition to the normal course material, while the other just followed the normal curriculum (subjects consisted of Sociology, American History, College Preparatory English, and Introduction to English Composition). The study resulted in significantly higher course grade and reported higher satisfaction for those students whom were in the service learning class.
The study can be found Click here
Service learning is a teaching technique that is still in its infancy in the field of economics, but is one which can be very fruitful. Through the concrete experiences and application of economic concepts students have the ability to understand that quantitative analysis cannot encompass the myriad of factors influencing various economic issues. By incorporating service learning into a curriculum, students who typically may not respond positively to the traditional chalk and talk method, (which tends to be underrepresented students (Bartlett 1996)), will have the ability to flourish.
McGoldrick, KimMarie, and Andrea L. Ziegert. Putting the Invisible Hand to Work: Concepts and Models for Service Learning in Economics. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, 2002. Print.
Bartlett, R. L. 1996. "Discovering Diversity in Introductory Economics." Journal of Economics Perspectives 10 (Spring): 141-53.