|  e-ISSN: 2147-5156

Original article | Turkish Journal of Teacher Education 2014, Vol. 3(2) 99-106

Guiding Principles for Conducting Service-Learning Projects

Eric J Russell, Jon H. Westover, Colleen Bye, Anne Arendt, Larry L. Carter

pp. 99 - 106   |  Manu. Number: tujted.2014.008

Published online: December 31, 2014  |   Number of Views: 14  |  Number of Download: 608


Service learning is a desired, expected or integral part of teaching and yet guiding principles for conducting service learning projects in a generalized approach seem limited.  For this paper, we have expanded and modified Sigmon’s (1979) four R’s of service-learning (respect, reciprocity, relevance, and reflection) to include the following six categories, each encompassing different core principles of the “how” of doing service-learning effectively, more similar to Malone’s (2010) five R’s (relationships, rigor, reciprocity, reflection, and real life).  These six R’s include roles, relevance, reciprocity, reflection, risk management, and reporting.  While the first four of our R’s largely overlap with both Sigmon’s and Malone’s configurations, here we put forth the importance of two new and unique R’s that must be carefully considered when utilizing service-learning as an effective course pedagogy, namely risk management and reporting. 

Keywords: Service learning, higher education, community service, engaged learning

How to Cite this Article?

APA 6th edition
Russell, E.J., Westover, J.H., Bye, C., Arendt, A. & Carter, L.L. (2014). Guiding Principles for Conducting Service-Learning Projects. Turkish Journal of Teacher Education, 3(2), 99-106.

Russell, E., Westover, J., Bye, C., Arendt, A. and Carter, L. (2014). Guiding Principles for Conducting Service-Learning Projects. Turkish Journal of Teacher Education, 3(2), pp. 99-106.

Chicago 16th edition
Russell, Eric J, Jon H. Westover, Colleen Bye, Anne Arendt and Larry L. Carter (2014). "Guiding Principles for Conducting Service-Learning Projects". Turkish Journal of Teacher Education 3 (2):99-106.


    Abravanel, S. (2003). Building community through service-learning: The role of the community partner. Education Commission of the States, April, 1-16.

    Akijobi, C., & Simmons, R. (1997). An assessment of elementary school service-learning teaching methods: Using service-learning goals. NSEE Quarterly, 23(2), 19-28.

    Astin, A., & Sax, L. (1998). How undergraduates are affected by service participation. Journal of College Student Development, 39(3), 251-263.

    Astin, A., Vogelgesang, L., Ikeda, E., & Yee, J. (2000). How service-learning affects students: Executive summary. Higher Education Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, CA.

    Baker-Boosmara, M., Guevara, J. A., & Balfour, D. L. (2006). From service to solidarity: Evaluation and recommendations for international service learning. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 12(4), 479-500.

    Barcelona, B., & Bocarro, J. (2004). The nature and extent of collaboration between park and  recreation agencies and higher education institutions. Journal of Park & Recreation   Administration, 22(4), 3-24.

    Bradley, J. (1995). A model for evaluating service-learning in academically based service. In Troppe, M. (Ed.), Connecting cognition and action: Evaluation of student performance in service-learning courses. Providence, RI: Campus Compact.

    Bringle, R., & Hatcher, J. (1999). Reflection in service learning: Making meaning of experience. Educational Horizons, 77(4), 179-185.

    Bringle, R. & Hatcher, J. (1996). Implementing service-learning in higher education. The Journal of Higher Education, 67(2), 221-239.

    Cone, D., & Harris, S. (1996). Service-learning practice: Developing a theoretical framework. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 3, 31-43.

    Driscoll, A., Gelmon, S., Holland, B., Kerrigan, S., Spring, A., Grosvold, K., and Longley, M. (1998). Assessing the impact of service learning: A workbook of strategies and methods (2nd Ed.). Portland, OR: Center for Academic Excellence, Portland State University.

    Dubinsky, J. (2006). The role of reflection in service learning. Business Communication Quarterly, 69(3), 306-311.

    Eyler, J., & Giles, D. (1999). Where’s the learning in service-learning? San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

    Felten, P., & Clayton, P. (2011). Service-learning. New Directions for Teaching & Learning, 2011(128), 75-84.

    Felten, P., Gilchrist, L., & Darby, A. (2006). Emotion and learning: Feeling our way toward a new theory of reflection in service learning. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 12(2), 38-46.

    Flournoy, C. (2007). Doing learning: Investigative reporting and service learning. Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, 62(1), 47-61.

    Gelmon, S. (2000). How do we know that our work makes a difference: Assessment strategies for service-learning and civic engagement. Metropolitan Universities, 11,


    Goldstein, M. (1990). Legal issues in combining service and learning. In Kendall and Associates (Ed.), Combining service and learning: A resource book for community and public service. Mt. Royal, NJ: National Society for Experiential Education.

    Hatcher, J., & Bringle, R. (1997). Reflection: Bridging the gap between service and learning. College Teaching, 45(4), 153-159.

    Hatcher, J., Bringle, R., & Muthiah, R. (2004). Designing effective reflection: What matters to service-learning? Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 11(1), 38-44.

    Karayan, S., & Gathercoal, P. (2005). Assessing service-learning in teacher education. Teacher Education Quarterly, 32(3), 79-92.

    Kendrick, J. (1996). Outcomes of service-learning in an introduction to sociology course. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 3(1), 72-81.

    Keyton, J. (2001). Integrating service-learning in the research methods course. Southern Communication Journal, 66(3), 201-210.

    Klob, D. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.   

    Kohn, A. (2008). It’s not what we teach, it’s what they learn. The Education Digest, 74(4), 26-32.

    Lough, B. (2009). Principles of effective practice in international social work field placements. Journal of Social Work Education, 45(3), 467-480.

    Malone, D. (2010). Learning by service. Retrieved from


    Marchel, C. (2004). Evaluating reflection and sociocultural awareness in service-learning classes.  Teaching of Psychology, 131(2), 120-123.

    McCarthy, F. (2009). Where we are now: A review of service-learning among SLAN colleges and universities in Asia. New Horizons in Education, 57(3), 8-19.

    McClam, T., Diambra, J., Burton, B., Fuss, A., & Fudge, D. (2008).  An analysis of a service-learning project: Students expectations, concerns, and reflections. Journal of Experiential Education, 30 (3), 236-249.

    McEachern, R. (2006).  Incorporating reflection into business communication service-learning courses. Business Communication, 69(3), 312-316.

    Melchior, A., & Bailis, L. (2002). Impact of service-learning on civic attitudes and behaviors of middle and high school youth. In Furco, A. & Billig, S. (Eds.), Service-learning the essence of the pedagogy. Greenwich, CO: Information Age Publishing.

    Michigan Journal of Community Service-learning (MJCSL) (2001). Service-learning course     

    design workbook. Ann Arbor, MI: Office of Community Service-learning Press.

    Mihalynuk, T. V., & Sarena D. Seifer (2008). Risk management and liability in higher education service-learning. Scotts Valley, CA: Learn and Serve America’s National Service-Learning Clearinghouse.

    Muscott, H. S. (2000). A review and analysis of service-learning programs involving students  with emotional/behavioral disorders. Education & Treatment of Children, 23(3), 346.

    Myers-Lipton, S. (1996). Effect of a comprehensive service program on college students’ level of modern racism. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 3(1), 44-54.

    O’Hara, L. S. (2001). Service-learning: Students’ transformative journey from communication student to civic-minded professional. Southern Communication Journal, 6(3), 251-266.

    Osborne, R., Hammerich, S., & Hensley C. (1998). Student effects of service-learning: Tracking change across a semester. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 5(1), 5-13.

    Rasmussen, G., & Skinner, E. (1997). Learning Communities: Getting started. Retrieved from http://mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/ilc/monograph/index.html.

    Reising, D., Allen, P., & Hall, S. (2006). Student and community outcomes in service-learning:   Part 1--student perceptions. Journal of Nursing Education, 45(12), 512-515.

    Seifer, S. (2000). Engaging colleges and universities as partners in healthy communities initiatives. Public Health Reports, 115(2-3), 234-237.

    Seifer, S., & Conners, K. (2007). Faculty toolkit for service-learning in higher education. Scotts Valley, CA: National Service-Learning Clearinghouse. 

    Sigmon, R. (1979). Service learning: Three principles. ACTION, 8(1), 9-11.

    Stachowski, L., Bodle, A., & Morrin, M. (2008). Service-learning in overseas and naval reservation communities: Student teachers' powerful experiences build community connection, broaden worldview, and inform classroom practice. International Education, 38(1), 40-65.

    Steiner, B., & Sands, R. (2000). Responding to a natural disaster with service learning. Family Medicine, 32(9), 645-649.

    Strage, A. (2000). Service-learning: Enhancing student learning outcomes in a college-level lecture course. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 7(4), 5-13.

    Tannenbaum, S., & Berrett, R. (2005). Relevance of service-learning in college courses. Academic Exchange Quarterly, 9(1), 197-201.

    Ward, K. (1998). Addressing academic culture: Service learning, organizations, and faculty work.  New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 73, 73-80.

    Westover, J.H. (2012). Academic Service-Learning Across Disciplines: Models, Outcomes, and Assessment (ed).  Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press.

    Workman, L., & Berry, G. (2010). Building the five R/five stakeholder research framework: Understanding engaged learning in the business school. The Journal of Business Inquiry, 9(1), 127-147.