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Resources: Why Service Learning Should Be a Major Part of Early Childhood Education

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“Service learning supports young children on their journey to become caring and responsive members of society, so why wait to start teaching them?”

By Donna Whittaker

As we look to grow young learners into the leaders of tomorrow, we know that high-quality early childhood education is paramount. While teaching children early academics, it’s also critical to go beyond the ABC’s and 123’s to ensure our students grow into compassionate and caring members of society. As educators, it’s our responsibility to teach young children that they can make a big difference in the world, and the way we do that at Big Blue Marble Academy is through service learning.

What is service learning?
Service learning is an instructional approach that addresses the learning needs of the whole child by combining service activities with specific educational and developmental goals. It opens the opportunity for young learners to make important connections between curricular content, early learning standards and the world around them.

An important aspect of child development shows that young children seek power, even as early as two years old. From inception, children are told what to do and this can create power struggles between child and adult. When children realize that they have the ability, and therefore power, to solve real-world problems through service learning, it’s an invaluable lesson that shows they are capable of making a difference in the world…

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