Service Learning and the C3 Framework
OSPI in the state of Washington calls on teachers to provide students with service learning opportunities—extracurricular activities that allow young people to learn through engagement in their schools and communities. This is also the vision of the C3 Framework from the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). The Framework establishes four phases for learning occurring in the classroom. These phases make up the Inquiry Arc. Learning is centered on a compelling question, and while investigating the question students not only become informed but it is natural for them to develop a passion to do something with their knowledge. They will want to make a difference in their community and their nation. This is what the NCSS calls “taking informed action.”
Civic Engagement Clearinghouse
This website is dedicated to making service learning easier for teachers and more powerful for students. Here teachers will find a number of potential partner organizations already working to address a variety of needs as well as a growing list of great project ideas. These resources have been slowly compiled by elementary education students at Eastern Washington University. By taking time to browse the clearinghouse, teachers should be bolstered by many ideas and may even find the partner organization they need to accomplish a powerful service learning experience for their students—giving back to the community in the process.
The potential partners in this clearinghouse have been organized according to the work they do (see the links on the right). Tags at the bottom of each resource also allow teachers to view potential partners according to the scope of their work. Project ideas have been organized according to the size of the project (see links on the right). Tags at the bottom of each project idea also allow teachers to view projects according to grade-level appropriateness.