From Classroom to Community_ How It Can Help International Students Learn Effectively
Imagine being able to step out of the traditional classroom setting and experience learning in a way that is both exciting and relevant. Community learning is all about connecting the dots between what students are learning in the classroom and the world around them. It's about taking the academic concepts and theories and applying them to real-life situations.
This form of learning has become an increasingly important aspect of education in recent years, with a growing emphasis on connecting classroom learning to real-world experiences. Community learning can help students gain practical skills, increase motivation and engagement, and better understand the links between what they’re learning in school and the world around them. Furthermore, studies have also shown that community learning can impact childhood development in a positive way.
The Role of Community Learning
One of the most effective ways to provide students with real-world experiences is through community involvement. This can take many forms, including service learning projects, volunteer work, and community engagement activities.
Community involvement provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in physical settings, and it can also help them gain a better understanding of the social, economic, and cultural factors that shape our world.
Service Learning Projects and Their Impact
Service learning projects or service as action can be an especially powerful tool for providing students with authentic learning experiences.
For example, a high school for international students may partner with a local charity organisation to provide services for underprivileged children. Students would then be able to gain a better understanding through live scenarios and learn about the challenges these children face.
Another example might be a project that involves cleaning up a local park or beach, which would help students understand the importance of environmental conservation. These projects not only help them gain practical skills, but they can also provide ample opportunities for engagement and allow them to view the world through a different lens.
Community involvement at Chatsworth
At Chatsworth International School, we understand the importance of community involvement in enabling our students to gain on-the-field experiences. As such, you’ll find a wide range of such activities incorporated into our curriculum.
For instance, students in our international baccalaureate (IB) middle years and diploma programmes are taken outside the classroom to gain experiences from visiting other cultures in the region as part of our Curriculum Enhancement Week (postponed since Covid). During their travels, apart from a variety of team bonding activities, students also actively participate in community service. They teach and read to the children at rural schools, conduct repair works, help out at the farms, and more. The CEW is designed to link to the school’s wider curriculum and to extend learning and growth opportunities for our students.
As a school, Chatsworth had provided donations of new, unworn school uniforms, resources, supplies and furniture through the effort of our parent community who led the donation drive and pulled together a container for shipping to a school in Malawi, East Africa. This donation opportunity was built on the links that our former teacher, Mr Geoffrey Trevaskis has with the Mphatso Children's Foundation, where he and his students had in the past contributed to building a school for them.
Benefits of Community-Based Learning at Chatsworth
As highlighted, one of the biggest benefits of community-based learning is that it can increase student engagement and motivation. When students are able to see the real-world applications of what they're learning and reflect on their efforts, they're more likely to be invested in the learning process. Community-based learning can also help students develop practical skills that are valuable in the real world, such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. Additionally, community-based learning can help students understand the connections between what they're learning in school and the world around them, which can lead to a greater appreciation of the subjects they're studying.
The value of moving from the traditional classroom to the community as a learning environment for students cannot be overstated. Regardless which country the student is from, preschool or high school level, community-based learning can provide valuable cultural experiences to help them better understand and appreciate the diverse cultures they encounter in their time in Singapore.
If you're considering enrolling your child in a high school with an IB diploma programme in Singapore, think about the benefits of community-based learning and the opportunities it can provide for your child's education. With the curriculum at Chatsworth and our dedicated and engaged teachers, our international students will be primed to become empathetic and resilient learners.