Over the past several months, RCEF has been busy promoting service learning teaching methodology amongst teachers and NGOs that work with rural children. Service learning is an educational approach that cultivates civic responsibility by integrating academic learning and personal growth with meaningful service to the community. In a typical service-learning project, students identify problems that they are concerned about in their community, research the problems and potential solutions, create and implement a plan for addressing the problem, and reflect on their learning and action throughout the process.
A new RCEF handbook on service learning presents this teaching methodology in detail along with practical examples of how RCEF teachers have applied it in rural China. Over 200 copies were distributed to participants at a national conference on rural education in December 2011 in Guangzhou, China. A RCEF teacher with over 15 years experience teaching in village schools in northern China gave a well-received presentation about the service learning projects she and RCEF developed with classes of fourth- and fifth-grade children in rural Shanxi Province. Her story was so moving that a reporter from a national education magazine profiled her and these teaching methods for a cover feature story that will come out in their February 2012 edition!
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Co-Founder, Co-Executive Director