into the Civic Education
Curriculum in Palestine
Hussain Al-Fadhli, Ph.D.
What is Service-Learning?
• An innovative instructional strategy that actively involves
youth in the curriculum through service to their community.
• It is a teaching method whereby students learn and
develop through active participation in organized
service experiences that:
• Are integrated into the academic curriculum
• Meet the needs of a community
• Provide structured time for reflection
• Help foster civic responsibility
Why do Service Learning?
• Research indicates that educators who provide
opportunities for students to participate in high
quality service-learning activities across schooling
• improve student achievement
• build strong relationships between the school and
• promote the development of committed citizens.
Typology of Citizenship
Three conceptions of the “good citizen”:
• personally responsible citizen follows the law,
pays his/her taxes, volunteers, and contributes to
• participatory citizen participates in the civic affairs
and the social life of the community at all levels.
• justice oriented citizen emphasizes need to
analyze the root causes of social problems in order
to identify and critique unjust social structures and
bring about systemic change.
Putnam (2000) argues that structural social
change in terms of size of family, suburban
sprawl, & electronic entertainment has lead
• Lack of Political and Civic Engagement.
• Limited Informal Social Ties.
• Low level of tolerance and trust.
• Overall decline in social capital
Social capital is the:
• Fabric that binds society together
• Degree of social cohesion existing in community
• Level of cooperation between people in community.
• Level of ability and motivation of community to
share responsibility for their collective wellbeing
• The main aspects of social capital are citizenship,
neighborliness, trust and shared values, community
involvement, volunteering, social networks and civic
• The stronger these networks and bonds, the more
likely it is that members of a community will co-
operate for mutual benefit.
• Crime can be reduced, educational achievement
enhanced and better health fostered through the
strengthening of social Capital. (World Health Organization, WHO, 1998)
Strategies to Strengthen Social
• considering civic engagement as
process that builds social capital
(networks) which can be drawn upon to
address social problems.
• utilizing five elements of citizenship:
Values, knowledge, skills, efficacy, and
How is Service Learning Different
from Community Service?
• Service Learning uses community service as the vehicle
for the attainment of students’ academic goals and
• Students perform a valuable, significant, and necessary
service which has real and self-sustaining
consequences to the community
• The needs of the community dictate the service being
• The goal of the service is to empower students and
those being served
Example of Difference
• Cleaning up a river bank is just service.
• Looking at water samples under a microscope is
• Science majors meeting government standards by
taking samples from local streams, analyzing the
samples and then presenting the information to a
pollution control agency is service-learning.
Service-learning is NOT…
• Community Service
These are “Service”
• Experiential Learning
• Hands-On Learning
These are “Learning”
Service-Learning & Experiential
• Balance between service and learning
• Emphasis on addressing community-identified
concerns and problems
• Integral involvement of community partners
• Emphasis on reciprocal learning
• Emphasis on reflective practice
• Emphasis on developing citizenship skills and
achieving social change
I hear, I forget; I see, I
remember; I do, I understand.
Reflection is a key component in experiential
and service-learning pedagogy:
• Creates a deeper understanding and
better application of subject matter
• Increases appreciation of problem and
encourages solution analysis
Competencies gained from
– Enriching student learning of course material
and “brings books to life and life to books.”
– Learning about people’s experiences and day-
to-day management of social problems
– Serving people by taking different roles
– Increasing students’ self-confidence in
working with people with challenging
Competencies gained from
Service-learning pedagogy (Contd.)
– Enhancing the role of students as contributing
individuals, civic-minded, and socially responsible
– Developing leadership abilities and role-modeling
– Practicing the positive religious and cultural
values of the society such as: altruism,
cooperation, volunteerism, brotherhood,
sisterhood, Faza’ah ,الفزعة Nafeerالنفير etc.
Win-Win Situation !
Need for Integrating Service-Learning
into Civic Education in Palestine
1. Service-learning pedagogy needs to be enhanced in the
curriculum -- ( Modeling TCC efforts)
2. Should be promoted within the civic education classes as well as
other subjects and disciplines.
3. Meet a real community need.
4. Provide for structured group reflection time.
5. Engage students in group decision making and problem solving.
6. Find ways to match the skills and talents of students with the
needs of the community.
7. Provide a wide variety of options for students.
8. Provide recognition for services rendered.