Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Service-Learning and Hispanic Students: What Works in the Field

A recent report by the Education Commission for the States examines, “the positive relationship between service-learning and Hispanic students’ education, success and aspirations.”


The report finds that:


Schools and community partners reported that service-learning is a very successful pedagogy for Hispanic students. Many of the schools credited improved scores and graduation rates to service-learning. The data also indicate that before implementing service-learning curriculum and projects, administrators and teachers need to create an inclusive culture and lay the groundwork for success. Whereas the identified practices will work for all students, several specific practices pertaining to culture, relevancy and community, and family engagement are designed for Hispanic success.

Broader implications for adopting the recommendations and best practices contained in this report include:

  • Ensuring effective ways of engaging Hispanic students and their families
  • Improving dropout rates for Hispanic students
  • Placing student success as the primary goal of the school, particularly those falling behind or failing
  • Supporting student success by aligning efforts, resources and strategies
  • Cultivating a shared mission and vision of the school among teachers and staff
  • Improving the school’s overall academic success and achievement of the school.

In closing, the collective application of the following ensure that Hispanic students achieve academically and graduate high school: creating an inclusive culture and climate; employing strategies for engaging community partners, parents and families; integrating informal opportunities for teacher collaboration and reflection; adopting multilateral leadership approaches focused on equity; and tracking student success. Since Hispanics are the largest growing population in the United States, the distressing picture of Hispanic students dropping out and disengaging from school, along with their lack of preparation for the workforce, has lasting and troublesome implications for the entire country. The nation is beginning to understand the devastating consequences of having a large percentage of the population without a sufficient education. Schools throughout the United States must embrace the recommended best practices as a way to curtail the dropout and disengagement rates and create a school culture where all students believe they are valued and expected to achieve.


Read the full report here:



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About Me

The CalServe Network posts news and updates of interest to the service-learning field in California. News and updates are drawn from the CalServe List Serve and the National K-12 Service-Learning List Serve and various other sources.