Community-based learning programs encourage the expansion of learning opportunities for elementary, junior high, and senior high school students by bringing the community into the school and by placing students in the community as part of their studies. Community-based learning is a partnership involving the student, family, school, and community, with each partner sharing the responsibility for the student’s learning experience (Nova Scotia Department of Education 2013).
Students benefit from the expertise, talent, and resources of community-based service agencies, business, citizen groups, entrepreneurs, families, industry, and organizations. They gain opportunities to apply and enhance, in real-life contexts, knowledge, skills, and attitudes acquired through their work in school.
Community-based learning enhances students’ personal development, their sense of belonging to their community, and their understanding of community roles and responsibilities. Community-based experiences also help students develop skills including fundamental, personal management, and teamwork skills; specific career, occupation, and job skills; and labour market knowledge and understanding.