Also see Concept Paper and Preliminary Findings

A John Dewey Project Research Initiative:
Research, Teaching and Program Development Efforts in Service-Learning

Across the state of Vermont educational institutions are adopting practices designed to ground their educational mission in the life of the local community.  These "service-learning" or "curriculum of place" activities are involving students, teachers and community members in jointly produced projects and programs that engage students in active learning situations that provide a benefit to the local community.  This approach to learning and education, when done well, helps to prepare students to participate in the democratic process.  The schools themselves can also be viewed as "good citizens" by opening their resources to the needs and interests of the community.
The John Dewey Project on Progressive Education has received funds from the Paul Foundation and the Vermont Department of Education to implement a state-wide project designed to support the growth and development of community based pedagogues in educational institutions.  The project has three dimensions: to assess the scope of service learning, curriculum of place and community based learning efforts currently operating in schools; to support schools and universities in advancing the adoption of these curricular strategies; and eventually support pre-service and in-service teachers wanting to offer service-learning and related pedagogues to their students.

Element 1: Research and Assessment


Element 2: Technical Assistance


Element 3: Infusing Community-Based Learning Into Undergraduate and Graduate Education

Details Pertaining to Element 1:

Between 6 to 9 schools will be selected as case study sites. Schools at various stages of development will be included.

Each case study will be comprised of:


Details Pertaining to Element 2:

"Technical assistance" support will be offered to 4 to 6 schools. Each school receiving such assistance will be expected to participate in a team building process. Each school will develop a team comprised of teachers, administrators, community members, parents and students whose responsibility it will be to introduce or expand on efforts to integrate community involvement into the curriculum, the schools' culture and the life of the community.

Each school will be supported through a reflective self-assessment process designed to create a creative collaborative environment geared toward achieving the desired end. Each school will be asked to set its own goals and timeline for achieving those goals. The technical assistance process will include:

It should be noted that some, but not all, schools engaged in the technical assistance process will also serve as case study sites.

for more information, contact Chris Koliba of the John Dewey Project  ckoliba@zoo.uvm.edu

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