chapter  1
What is service learning?
Making sense of the pedagogy and practice
WithAndrew Furco, Katrina Norvell
Pages 23

This chapter offers a set of conceptual frameworks and a set of principles designed to more fully capture the complexities that undergird service learning. Whether understood as a philosophy or practice, service learning is value-laden and reflects the culture and priorities of each country and region where it has emerged. As was mentioned previously, just about every publication on service learning includes a definition of service learning. In turn, a number of national service learning advocacy groups produced definitions that service learning was not only about benefitting the academic enterprise, but also about providing benefits to the communities being served. As service learning was finding its footing in various parts of the globe, the definitions that emerged tended to reflect the respective country’s goals, intentions, and purposes for advancing service learning. Service learning is often confused with other experiential learning practices, such as internships, field studies, and volunteer activities.