Posted in Blog on 31 March 2016
Service Learning or learning through interactive community service is a vital way educators are answering that all-important question in students’ minds, “Why am I learning this?”
By addressing real-life issues in the form of a project or community service, students can apply what they have learned in classrooms to help make a difference and demonstrate both to themselves and others the value of what they have learned in class.
Let’s look at some of the other ways Service Learning can impact student learning:
By taking learning and applying it outside the classroom, students are able to expand their awareness to a broader community level. From a self-centric awareness, service learning helps students take the first steps to understanding the world and shape their thinking to start considering ways to apply their learning.
Overcoming obstacles using knowledge learned in the classroom is one of the main hurdles in service learning. This is a component of critical thinking which has a wide impact on the student’s future decision-making abilities. By encouraging students to find real, practical solutions many learners begin to comprehend and develop the kind of proactive thinking needed to solve problems that can crop up anytime in their future endeavors.
Service learning intensively builds communication skills in order to work with both classmates and the community. In fact many educators mention that after a service learning project, students who are usually quiet in class, tend to communicate better as they perceive the need for communication is essential to project success.
Completing a service learning project requires coordination on several levels with the follow up to ensure all demands of the project are being met in a timely and cost-efficient manner. All of these are practical management skills which expose the student to various personality types whom they will need to work with in their future careers.
Many reports talk about an increased feeling of responsibility for the community which develops amongst students after engaging in a service learning project. Students often on their own initiative continue to look for more ways in which they can make an impact and apply their skills to improving their neighbourhood individually out of a developed sense of civic awareness.
Encourage and Support Peers
With service learning projects, students will often discuss other projects conducted by friends or seniors and hear first-hand about other successes or failures. The experience will encourage them share their struggles, triumphs, and learnings throughout the experience creating a closer student support structure and encouraging peer learning.
With service learning, students need to demonstrate their understanding through action and involvement. For successful completion, students work through all the steps in the process and document their findings, along with plans, photos, timelines and diagrams to showcase their work and complete their project. These skills learned while in documenting and presenting, lead to a better understanding of what’s involved in showcasing work for future college and career requirements.
Tagged in: service learning