For this blog, I read “In the Service of What? The Politics of Service Learning” by Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer. This piece speaks about service learning and its importance in the classroom. Kahne and Westheimer make very strong points about service learning that can connect to “Other People’s Children” by Lisa Delpit as well as “110 People Who Are Screwing Up America” by Bernard Goldberg. In this text, Kahne and Westheimer say, “Just as the difference between change and charity may provide an important conceptual distinction for those analyzing service learning curricula, it is helpful to distinguish the moral, political, and intellectual goals to motivate those who support service learning” (5). This quote states that it is important to realize the meaning and purpose for what someone is doing in order to get the best results. Similarly, Delpit says, “I try to give them my experiences, to explain.” (22). The authors of both texts agree that it is crucial to explain the purpose of doing something to achieve the best possible outcome. Students and teachers will not be interested or try hard with something they think is pointless and therefore they will not benefit from the task. Kahne and Westheimer agree with Goldberg about what is being covered in the classroom. One section of this text focuses on the politics of service learning. It says, “When I care, Noddings explains, a relationship develops in which ‘the other’s reality becomes a possibility for me’” (7). This explains that each person is able to use each other to create their own success. Goldberg correspondingly says, “Jonathan Kozol is so admired in the education establishment, his ideas are put into practice every day in classrooms all across America, from high school all the way down to preschool” (295). With this statement, Goldberg supports Kahne and Westheimer’s main idea that students should work off of one another as well as with the teacher to be as successful as possible.
COMMENTS: I did not enjoy reading this piece at all. After reading the past few pieces for the blogs, I found this one very difficult to read. It was not as interesting as the other texts and I found it hard to get into. This text is written more formally which I did not enjoy. It speaks more about professional and scholarly things than the other readings do.