Experiential learning is a familiar concept for teachers, and project-based learning and field trips are examples of potentially powerful experiential learning activities. This article will expand on the literature and offer an example of a service learning intervention at the middle-school level. We suggest that three key components of service learning may motivate students, including (a) focusing on altruism, (b) encouraging student voices, and (c) building relationships. These aspects of service learning provide a slightly different grounding than experiential learning activities which prioritize curriculum concepts. They also may be unique in their ability to enhance students’ self-efficacy, which has been positively associated with motivation and academic achievement.
Project: Civic Engagement and Service