Education reform of the future starts with public service. Over the last two and a half years, I have built a public service program at Lake Park High School in Roselle, IL. The class allows students to pursue topical areas of self-interest in a classroom setting, while supplementing those subject topics with in-depth public service opportunities and experiential learning methodology outside the school building. Students can opt to take the semester elective during their junior or senior year (although the course was recently approved to be offered in full year format).
Reform of the future must start with public service courses at all public institutions, elementary through post-secondary. The reason for exposure at all levels is because of the essential skills and development that can occur in this unique classroom setting. Teaching students more math and reading is useful, but if they cannot think, then we as a Nation will continue to tumble down the arbitrary and ambiguous world-education rankings.
This paper will outline the path I took to get a non- Advanced Placement elective approved in an environment that is focused on test-scores and AYP. Additionally, the reform component will focus heavily on how any student enrolled in public service courses will develop skills that are essential to continued success in post-secondary environments.
"Service Learning in the Social Studies,"
The Councilor: A Journal of the Social Studies: Vol. 74
, Article 8.
Available at: http://thekeep.eiu.edu/the_councilor/vol74/iss2/8
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