Public administration professor Thomas H. Jeavons identifies several ways in which service-learning is more effective than traditional presentational modes in supporting the goals of liberal education.
As an experiential and collaborative mode, service-learning:
enhances critical thinking skills such as analysis and synthesis by involving students in identifying and framing problems in settings that transcend disciplinary boundaries.
involves students in assessing outcomes in a way that reveals the practical implications of chosen theories, research tools, analysis techniques, and presentation modes.
prepares students for life-long learning by connecting formal education more fully with real-world experience.
prepares students for citizenship by engaging them in dealing directly with community problems, challenging their assumptions and requiring them to integrate multiple points of view.