We are all a part of a community, whether it be in terms of geographical locations or because of the values we grew up with. It is impossible to isolate ourselves from our community. Even for students, after the completion of their education, they are going to be professionals who will be working for the development of the communities we all are part of. Therefore, teachers can use community resources to help students develop their social skills and prepare them for their future ambitions.
What are Community Resources?
Community resources are resources that enhance or facilitate the lives of people in a community. These resources are an integral part of every individual’s development. Some examples of community resources are factories, educational institutions, cinema halls, libraries, religious places, hospitals, community centers, parks, etc. It would be a great idea to make use of these resources in education as it develops a sense of value and belonging among students.
Benefits of Using Community Resources in Teaching
Using community resources in teaching can enrich the learning experience for students. Their knowledge with regard to the community will provide students with real-life opportunities for learning. It expands the spectrum of knowledge of students and helps them understand the functioning of different institutions in the community. It helps them be responsible and take an initiative to bring about positive changes in the society they live in. It also enables them to get exposed to different ideas and facilitates the formation of an inclusive atmosphere.
In addition, as they encounter different institutions and professionals, they would ignite an interest in certain professions and will be inspired to pursue that. Community resources would assist in picking up democratic traits and aid in understanding democracy in a broader sense. This would empower students and these experiences will help them in developing ideas of their own.
Methods to Make Use of Community Resources
Community surveys enable students to learn about various aspects of the society they live in. They will get exposed to a variety of cultures, traditions, values, ideals, and a lot more. They will be able to gain a lot of information and knowledge which will not be possible through rote learning. They will be able to comprehend a variety of issues that different types of communities are facing and can learn the factors leading to these issues. They can also correlate this data with their course material and learning concepts. Moreover, these community surveys will provide them with knowledge about the importance of education and the kinds of changes they can effect through education.
Community services are another way of enhancing the process of teaching and learning. It gives students an idea about the variety of community resources and gives exposure to the issues that exist in the community. With this knowledge, they can make the necessary improvements and take initiatives to eliminate the problems. Community services build the skills of students as they get an opportunity to interact with a multicultural crowd. It eradicates the prejudices that exist in their minds and can help in breaking the stereotypes that exist in society and thereby working towards the betterment of society as a whole.
Community services may entail programs like clean-up drives, eco-friendly initiatives, educating the public about various issues like environmental issues, or the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. In this way, community services widen the perspectives of students and instill a sense of responsibility in their minds. As a community service, students can plant trees and improve the aesthetics of the community, hence building a healthier environment. In this way, they are acquiring the importance of leading a sustainable life.
Excursions or field trips can unfold new learning experiences for students. Unlike a classroom learning environment, field trips would unveil a sea of learning opportunities for them. These trips can spark new interests in students and they may lay bare different values and traditions before them. For instance, if the trip is to a historical location, they will be able to witness the historical aspects of that location in a new light. Students will have the feeling that they are walking through the pages of history. They can get so inspired that they would pursue a career in the field of history.
The above-mentioned instance is just one example of how community resources can assist students in their development. The scope of the influence that these resources have on education is unfathomable as they provide students with firsthand knowledge. It can enlighten them in a novel way and can help in developing a myriad of skills. It enhances their critical thinking abilities and improves their learning abilities. They will be able to evaluate various circumstances from a broader perspective and in this way, these experiences will help in the development of their problem-solving skills. They will be well-equipped to deal with the challenges with ease.
Community resources can be a textbook flooded with information and experiences for learning social science. Teachers can act as a facilitator and make the most of the resources and provide students with the opportunity to maximize their knowledge in the field of social science. By involving the community services in learning social studies, teachers can cultivate an affinity towards the subject. Moreover, it would kindle an innate curiosity about the topic and broadens their horizons.
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