Service Learning Community BookletService-Learning is an innovative values-based program, which aims to teach young people generosity and empathy for others – putting values into action. Service-Learning occurs when students provide a service to the community as part of the curriculum or co-curricular activities and the benefits of this experience extend in both directions – the organisation benefits and the students learn more about the world and themselves through the process. Service-Learning is a powerful tool to connect students learning through helping organisations and interacting with people they might not ordinarily meet.
At the heart of service-learning is the intentional connection of classroom instruction with community service. Service-learning links three domains: cognitive (the head), affective (the heart), and behavioural (the hands). In a Lutheran school setting, ‘Service’ is pivotal to our understanding of who we are and Whose we are. Our understanding of service is linked to a Lutheran understanding of vocation; God calls us to serve others in the world.
Within any effective Service-Learning Project, there must be:
- A real problem that needs to be solved
- Authentic links to the curriculum
- Benefits for BOTH community partners and the students involved
- Active and ongoing reflection
Service-learning has the potential to offer students challenging and life changing experiences. It also has the potential to sensitize students to social, moral and ethical issues that they might choose to devote their skills to solving local and global community problems. It also helps students to be able to reflect actively on what they are learning and the impact of that learning on their lives.
Service Learning engages students in activities that address human and community needs. Students are given structured opportunities designed to enhance development an learning. Inherent in service learning is that the needs and dignity of all people are respected.
At the College there are many opportunities for students to take part in service learning. Perhaps the most visible initiatives include the edge programme in Year 9, The Global Outlook Team, the Service Learning trip to Cambodia, participation in the LEOS Club and Club Red. Each year there are many activities that students can support and participate in that serve others. Whilst we don’t espouse to service for recognition, we do acknowledge the good work of our students both within and beyond our community through our service, awareness, learning in community (SALC) awards.