Service-learning is a method by which students learn and develop intellectually through the combination of traditional classroom work and thoughtfully organized community service. Students reflect upon their experiences in the community and integrate what they learn into their academic courses, using the service component as another text. In the end, the students learn from real-life experiences, which enhance their understanding and make their course work more real and personal. At the same time, the students meet a critical need in the community, so an equal exchange of giving, receiving, understanding and learning takes place between the college and the community.
(AAHE: Service Learning in the Disciplines)
Reflection, through writing, speaking, discussion and reading, is the key ingredient of service-learning. It is what transfomrs community service into service-learning. Reflection is important because it allows the students to learn from their experiences and from themselves through a "mix of theory and practice, thought and action, observation and interaction. (www.fiu.edu)