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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Authentic Academics: Academically Embedded Service Learning

Sharon Kossack, Eric Dwyer, Hilary Landorf.

Academically embedded Service Learning projects provide authentic ways for students to learn academics (e.g., reading, writing, speaking, listening, social studies, science) in ways that the products are applied to the benefit of others in socially concientious ways.

For example, students in Florida research the living things (science), government structures and schools Florida (social studies) and produce ABC books (e.g., Animals of Florida, Miami ABC, ABCs of U.S. Schools), which are exchanged with Bahamian who have insufficient books and curriculum to provide materials, encourage mutual understanding and launch email correspondences between the students.

The concept of service learning will be presented, with focus on the essential elements required of a quality Service Learning project. Then a variety of these research-based projects will be presented (focusing on the academics in reading/language arts, social studies, science, languages), including the concomitant effects on student learning.

The session will end with participants exploring potential projects they might develop for their own students, using the guidelines provided, discussing the positive/negative aspects of employing service learning as an academic tool.


Sharon Kossack  (United States)
College of Education
Florida International University

Sharon Kossack, Ph.D., Professor of Reading, coordinator of school-based Professional Development Academies which deliver at-risk-student-embedded, on-site M.S. degrees in Reading. Stateside coordinator of the Every Child Counts literacy and special education project in Abaco, Bahamas.

Eric Dwyer  (United States)
Assistant Professor
College of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Florida International University

Eric Dwyer, Assistant Professor, Modern Language Education, associated with TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) program. Serves on Board of Directors for TESOL International. He's interested in vocabulary development of bilingual students.

Hilary Landorf  (United States)
Assistant Professor
College of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Floria International University

Hilary Landorf, Assistant Professor, Global Education. Current research focuses on the study of the U.S. in Morocco, and the study of Islam in Miami-Dade County.

  • Service Learning projects
  • Literacy
  • Social Science
  • Social Studies
  • Civic Responsibility
  • Positive Social Change Agency
  • Science

(30 min Conference Paper, English)