What is Service Learning: Benefits and its Role in Academics
Education is not always limited to studying from textbooks. Outside of school, the world is a classroom which holds an expanse of valuable lessons and life experiences. For students, a wholesome curriculum can help them become responsible and respectful individuals – and one of the best ways is through service learning.
In essence, service learning is deeply rooted in community building. For example, activities are centred around encouraging civic-centric engagement such as community outreach theatre and recycling programmes.
Benefits of Service Learning
Service learning supports the theory-based curriculum the students learn in school. Through hands-on projects guided by professional teachers, students will be able to apply what they have learned in the classroom to practical settings outside of it. There are several benefits of service learning, including:
Enhancing academic outcomes
According to research, service learning has a positive impact on the academic outcomes of students in areas such as critical thinking, problem solving and other cognitive development. This is because students are often exposed to economic, social, environmental and other real-world problems which they must try to solve. This helps them develop critical thinking skills – by analysing the information they have gathered to make evaluations and judgements.
Additionally, service learning engages different knowledge and skill sets. For example, students can train their diction by reading out loud to the elderly in a care home, or be part of an ocean cleanup while learning more about oceans and marine life in general. Because service learning requires students to think outside of the traditional boundaries of academic studies, they become more adept at interpreting and applying what they have learned.
Developing important life skills
Away from academic achievements, service learning also develops students both on a personal and professional level. Often, students must communicate effectively with other team members or learn to collaborate with people from a variety of backgrounds, ethnicity, strengths and abilities. In fact, service learning can have a profound effect on the student’s school life as it forges new relationships between the school and the community at large.
Everyone from students to teachers to community members form part of this memorable process of learning. As a result, they each develop a sense of belonging and meaning in their role in society.
Examples of Service Learning Activities
At Chatsworth International School, our students are exposed to a wide range of activities to give them a chance to give back to their community. Some of these activities are:
Art based activities such as designing posters
Community interactions such as helping other students at school and beyond
Social driven campaigns such as food and clothing donation drives
School based programmes such as offering recycling support
As an institution which focuses on bettering the space our students live in, we frequently encourage acts of kindness and other community service to give back to the community. We have also partnered with several adopted charities such as Blue Dragon and Caring for Cambodia to give the students a chance to contribute to those in Singapore and beyond.
A Holistic Education For All
Service learning plays an important role in our academic structure. It is an amazing tool for students to gain valuable experiences and learn fundamental concepts such as sharing and helping others. It not only helps them do better in their education but also gives them useful insights into the community and allows them to apply what they have learned in school and even after they leave.
Students at Chatsworth International School are given rich opportunities at every turn. In the Middle Years Programme (MYP), service learning becomes part of their core curriculum where they can choose from a list of service groups at the start of the school year. At the Diploma level, students must also meet the core requirements of Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) before they are able to graduate.
Through our enriching programmes, students will inevitably get to experience a world outside of themselves and foster a mindset which will bring them to becoming enlightened and responsible global citizens. Contact us to find out more about our holistic educational approach, or book a campus tour to see some of them in action.