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mbul.gifAbout Problem Solvers
mbul.gifWHAT IS COMMUNITY BASED LEARNING?
mbul.gifSome History
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SOME HISTORY

The professor had the idea, before it was popular, that going into the community benefited her students. She maintained that early volunteer experience would remind students later on in life that they have the ability to produce social change. She argued that the experience gives abstract economic issues a base in reality. She wanted students to see how economic issues affect the lives of real people and how the tools of economics can help. Students engaged in variety of acts; they painted the living room and bedrooms of a homeless shelter, harvested vegetables for the local food bank and weeded gardens for elderly and disabled residents.

Classroom learning was enriched by having students interpret information through an actual event occurring in real time. Interesting and relevant questions emerge through interactions with the local community. Too many critics erroneously believe that universities are giving academic credit for straight volunteer work, but that's not the case. There is a serious academic component to working within the community and benefits to the community are incidental.

Studies have shown that students learn better when they apply what they learn. Math teachers claim that after a student is exposed to a mathematical idea they've become acquainted with it and it is only after they have explained it to someone else that they've really learned it. These teachers often have their students tutor elementary students, figuring their students are not only learning to get their tongue around math ideas, but they are learning how young children think, and why they are often puzzled by math problems.

 

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