Schools around the country have embraced the value of service learning for developing and nurturing students’ civic values and attitudes, as well as building academic competencies. Service learning provides authentic education experiences where students can both learn and apply their learning in real world contexts and intrinsically motivates students by allowing them to select projects they care about.

While educators acknowledge the value of service learning, some fear they lack the necessary skills to lead their students in effective and meaningful service learning projects. At the same time, misunderstandings about the differences between service learning and community service persist. While both activities have a place in a well-rounded curriculum, service learning is more likely to lead to truly transformative learning.

National Geographic’s ambition is to create a planet in balance, and service learning is one such way that students can build the attitudes, skills, and knowledge that will help them succeed and make the world a better place. The National Geographic Learning Framework describes a set of attributes that leads from curiosity to action – the type of action illustrated through service-learning projects.

Educators hold the key to leading students in transformative service learning experiences, and National Geographic is committed to supporting educators in their efforts. Through a partnership with Digital Promise, National Geographic has launched a stack of four micro-credentials to help educators build the skills they need to design and implement service-learning projects.

The micro-credentials cover:

Educators can apply for one or all of the micro-credentials, depending on their vision for service learning in their classrooms. Educators can engage with the full stack of micro-credentials to support the development and implementation of a service-learning project from start to finish, or they can build one or two into an ongoing project.

Service learning empowers students to create solutions for a healthier and sustainable future. Learn more about National Geographic’s service learning micro-credentials here and start earning today.


About Elaine Larson

Elaine Larson is a Regional Director at the National Geographic Society.

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