American Journal of Educational Research. 2014, 2(8A), 1-7DOI:
Abstract: We present in this article the documentation and analysis of a Service Learning (SL) experience conducted in the Faculty of Pedagogy of the University of Barcelona and entitled Els amics i amigues de la lectura [Reading Friends]. This is a training proposal in which first-year students on the pedagogy, social education, social work, and early childhood and primary education bachelor’s degree courses help the city’s children and adolescents to enjoy reading and improve their reading skills. The project sets out to achieve two essential goals. The first, to offer a response to a need which is crucial to pupils’ academic and personal success: raising their levels of reading competence. The second, to contribute to the improvement in university students’ initial training, offering a challenge which enables them to link theoretical knowledge and practical experience, develop basic professional skills and exercise social responsibility and civic engagement, while at the same time building an affective relationship with the pupils involved, with all that this represents. The article consists of five basic sections. In the first two we set out a brief overview of service learning and of the project itself, addressing some of the fundamental questions regarding its history and evolution. An overall vision of the experience architecture is presented in the third point, with a description of how its main phases develop. We go on to focus on analysis of one of the project’s key issues: the pedagogical relationship established between students and pupils. We close the article by offering a number of final conclusions, together with the consulted bibliography.