Service Learning in Sport Management: A Community Health Project

Abstract

Service learning is increasingly popular in schools, colleges, and universities. Service learning is a form of experiential learning and is an ideal pedagogical strategy to teach students about sport management. Students engaged in service learning typically become involved in specific community-based projects that are a part of their class requirements. These projects usually meet a real community need and link classroom content with community projects and reflection. Students can benefit tremendously from an educational experience that combines service learning and sport management. They can reap benefits in the areas of academic learning, civic responsibility, personal and social development, and opportunities for career exploration. A well-planned and well-executed service learning project can expand the student’s sport management experience well beyond events, contests, and classroom lectures. It can bridge the gap between the school and the community by providing a way for students and community organizations to come together for a worthy cause, making learning more meaningful. The purpose of this article is to examine how sport management classes can be designed and implemented as service learning projects that address critical community health challenges. Specifically, this article addresses service learning design that could be applied to any community health problem. The example used here is fund raising for malaria mitigation projects distributing bed nets as a low-cost means of prevention. The article describes the actual service project and discusses ways to encourage students to deepen their civic engagement to meet critical community and global needs.

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