Department of Public Works
Generation Earth for Teachers: Environmental Education and Resources in Los Angeles County

7 Elements

Ideally, when developing a service learning unit of study aligned to specific content standards, all of the following key elements should be included:

1. Integrated learning and instruction
Environmental service learning supports the academic curriculum and vice versa.

  • Provides students with opportunities to apply academic content to real-world, meaningful experiences.
  • Supports the teaching of standards-based objectives to help students achieve academic success.

2. Service to the community
Environmental service learning brings together students, teachers and community partners to provide meaningful service that meets community needs.

  • Provides meaningful service activities that respond to a recognized community need.

3. Student voice
Environmental service learning involves students in every aspect of the program.

  • Involves students as partners in identifying community needs and issues, selecting, planning, evaluating, reflecting on their learning and service, and celebrating their successes.

4. Collaboration
Environmental service learning incorporates many partners (stakeholders) into planning and implementation.

  • Brings together students, teachers and community partners who can contribute to and benefit from the planning, implementation and evaluation of the environmental service learning project.

5. Civic responsibility
Environmental service learning helps students recognize that they can have an effect on their community and learn that their voices and actions count.

  • Involves students in identifying and mitigating their personal effects on their communities.
  • Shows students that their voice and activities influence the functioning of their communities.

6. Reflection and celebration
Environmental service learning helps students and teachers understand the significance of their projects and make connections with the academic curriculum.

  • Provides students the opportunity to think about and communicate about implementing their environmental service learning project before, during, and after the project.
  • Allows students and teachers to acknowledge and celebrate what they learned and how they feel about their environmental service learning projects.

7. Evaluation
Environmental service learning involves students, teachers, administrators and community partners in measuring progress toward learning and service goals and uses that information to improve the program.

  • Gives participating stakeholders an opportunity to identify changes that they might make to improve the program in order to increase the benefits to the community, quality of instruction, and level of student achievement.

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