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Community Based Learning

Engaged Community Members ​

At Children’s Day School, community based learning is education in action, combining experiential learning, social justice education and community service. Guided by teachers and community members, CDS students address real community needs–at school, in our local community and through international collaboration. Students are involved in the process of planning and executing projects that are carefully tied to curricula, and all projects are developmentally appropriate for the age groups involved.

Beyond “Service Learning”

It’s commonly thought that Community Based Learning is the same thing as Service Learning.  At CDS, our program is unique and takes learning in the community beyond the service learning model.

Traditionally, Service Learning is defined as:

  • One direction of learning and service: from the school to the community

  • School as knowledge center

  • An episodic volunteer program

At Children’s Day School, Community Based Learning is much more! With the support of faculty, staff and administration, our program includes:

  • Emphasis on learning process and reciprocal dialogue

  • Diversity education: recognition of social, economic and political power dynamics

  • Community and school serve one another; seeking intersecting, mutual spaces where we can take action as peers

  • Participatory Action Research + public education campaigns

  • More sustainable change

As a result of participating in community based learning projects, students:

  • Develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills

  • Build character and empathy

  • Explore multiple perspectives on pressing global issues

  • Experience the power of taking community action for positive social change

  • Learn to value and appreciate people of all ages and means as citizens with talents and experiences to share.

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