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Social studies teachers are presented with the challenging yet rewarding task of cultivating in their students' principles and competencies essential for democratic and social-justice-oriented citizenship. Inspired and guided by literature on social justice education and community service-learning, this study suggests that social studies teachers ought to consider integrating teaching methods that are experiential, participatory, and critical in nature. An example of such a method is community service-learning. As illustrated in this study, community service-learning activities afford students the unique opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills on social justice in authentic social situations.

Using a descriptive and textual analysis approach, the researcher explored the ways in which high school students exhibited social justice skills after a community service-learning project. The researcher examined the students’ written outputs which were based on their two-day immersion in an Aeta community – an indigenous peoples community in the Philippines.

As a result of their experiences in the community service-learning project, the students were able to demonstrate a number of competencies essential for the promotion of social justice. In particular, the students were able to articulate the complexities of their socio-cultural identities and backgrounds as well as those of the members of the community. They demonstrated their ability to take responsibility and initiative for their own learning experience, hone their communication skills, and develop empathy for the marginalized. Lastly, they were able to identify and analyze different forms of oppression experienced by the community such as marginalization and cultural imperialism.