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CP 7: Incorporating Fieldwork, Experts, and Service Learning

The EL Education model connects students to the world beyond school through meaningful fieldwork, collaboration with experts, and service learning. In addition to learning from text and classroom-based experiences, students use the natural and social environments of their communities as sites for purposeful fieldwork and service connected to academic work. They collaborate with professional experts and community members with firsthand knowledge of events and issues to ensure accuracy, integrity, and quality in their work.

EL Education differentiates between traditional field trips, in which students are often spectators, and fieldwork, in which students are active investigators, applying the research tools, techniques of inquiry, and standards of presentation used by professionals in the field.

Service learning goes beyond charitable acts, such as cleaning up a city park, and extends also to rigorous academic products that provide a service for the community, such as energy audits of city buildings that help a city save money and reduce its carbon footprint.

Fieldwork, collaboration with experts, and service learning are integral parts of learning expeditions, but they can also be used to enhance published curriculum or as stand-alone structures outside of full learning expeditions.

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