National Writing Project

Service to School, A Sample Chapter from The Activist Learner

Publication: The Activist Learner: Inquiry, Literacy, and Service to Make Learning Matter
Date: November 1, 2014

Summary: In this chapter from The Activist Learner, the authors reimagine school as a microcosm of the larger community and society, and offer templates for service projects that can transform school culture and foster communal literary practices.


Excerpt from Chapter

In a world where global connections are rapidly increasing and knowledge is made and shared in public, online spaces, making a shift to writing and research practices that emphasize collaboration is invaluable, if not essential. When conducted in the service of school, research functions less as an isolated, individual, and grade-driven endeavor, and instead becomes a dynamic and communal literacy practice.

Student writers experience an authentic sense of audience when they create texts and knowledge artifacts that represent their work, that speak responsively to others and to rival hypotheses, as these can be shared with school officials, parents, peers, and the local community. Through sharing their work, students can also teach and incite peers in other classes and grades to consider ways in which they, too, can provide service to the school to create a healthy, vibrant environment. Such texts and artifacts are visible signs of accomplishment and 'proof positive of learning.'"

Download Sample Chapter

PDF Download "Service to School, Chapter 5"

© 2023 National Writing Project