Service Learning Essay

Service Learning Essay Guidelines  (mid-term)

Assessment weight = 4 grade points


Through analysis and synthesis of your ED253 service learning experiences, course readings, classroom experiences, weblog posts, and additional research, write an essay questioning your service learning experiences.

Identify an issue of consequence that relates the very idea of service learning to your lived experiences engaging in service this semester in conjunction with ED253. What are the historically specific conditions that make this issue possible? Consider:

  • Historical events;
  • Philosophical ideas;
  • Political ideas and policies;
  • Economic strategies, policies, procedures;
  • Cultural, ethnic, racial, gendered beliefs; and
  • More

Through this essay, I challenge you to question your experiences; ask yourself, “what are the conditions that have made this experience(s) or event(s) possible?”  These conditions are informed, at the same time, by history, politics, culture, economy and more. Note:  experience,  your experience, DOES NOT provide the evidence to support your conclusions.  Instead, your experiences become the objects or events about which you are seeking understanding.Your essay can be created in any form and/or medium approved by Dr. Shutkin. (1500 word limit)


What is your research topic? Briefly describe the topic that you have in mind within the context of the broad field of educational studies and your lived experience of education.

Problem Statement

What is the problem that your research topic responds to? Research topics don’t emerge from nothing. They arise out of a situation in which there is a need, a problem that must be solved. What needs, interests and prior knowledge form a foundation for your research topic? What connections will you make in this project with other topics you know or study? Conversely, what “big” question or questions do you have about this topic? What do you want to know; what important content and concepts have you learned?

Literature Review

Is there sufficient literature for the research project? In your literature review, please define the research topic, comparing and contrasting how it is defined across the literature surveyed. Further, discuss how the topic is treated in the literature, i.e. what are the articles about, what are the educational and/or political perspectives of the articles, and so forth. The literature survey needs to include three to five thoughtful essays or research articles.

Conclusions:  Discussion, Analysis, Synthesis

Show how your conclusions directly address the problems that you previously identified.  What is/are the problem(s) that your research responded to?  How have you addressed / solved this/these problem(s)? How have you answered the “big” question or questions about this topic? What do you know now; what important content and concepts have you learned?  What knowledge, skills, strategies and attitudes have you gained? What are the results / outcomes of your research? Discuss these fully.


Complete bibliography in a standard form such as MLA, Chicago or APA.