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1 Service learning

2 Service learning Service learning is a pedagogy that links academic learning to student-directed community service and intellectual enquiry and reflection. It enriches the learning experience, teaches civic responsibility and strengthens communities.

3 Changing a service program to a Service learning program
For Clean Up Australia Day, a teacher at a local school decides that students will clean up part of the banks of the Brisbane River.

4 Re-orient to include student direction and academic learning
consult with the local community vote to clean up part of the banks of the Brisbane River plan the project observe, take inventory and clean up the river bank analyse what they found; hypothesise about its sources look at the impact of the pollutants on flora and fauna share the results with the local council and residents offer suggestions for reducing pollution – perhaps by writing a brochure and developing a web site.

5 Links to curriculum Maths – analysing survey results
SOSE – voting, contacting the council Science – analysing water and pollutants Geography – comparing water quality of different rivers and maps of watersheds English – writing a brochure or a report Art – designing a brochure or a map Information Technology – developing a web site with resources for preventing pollution.

6 Enrich the process with intellectual inquiry and reflection
Investigate a wide range of concepts and values including, for example: ‘community’ and ‘responsibility’.  Draw distinctions between different kinds of responsibility – students may not be causally or legally responsible for the pollution, but do they have some social or moral responsibility to improve the situation?  Examine their assumptions about moral responsibility by asking, for example:  ‘What is the extent of our moral responsibility?  How do we judge this?  What is it to be a good citizen?’ Making such distinctions develops and sharpens thinking skills.

7 Service learning: links to academic content and standards
involves young people in helping to determine and meet real, defined community needs includes on-going, meaningful reflection and analysis is reciprocal in nature, benefiting both the community and the service providers can be used in any subject area so long as it is appropriate to learning goals works at all ages, even among young children. (America’s National Commission on Service-learning)

8 Service learning is not:
an episodic volunteer program an add-on to an existing school curriculum logging a set number of community service hours in order to graduate compensatory service assigned as a form of punishment by the school or the courts only for high school or tertiary students only for ‘at risk’ students one-sided - benefiting only students or only community. (America’s National Commission on Service-Learning)

9 Types of service Formal service: Informal service: For example:
Driving for meals-on-wheels Being on a roster to serve morning tea once a month For example: Shopping for an elderly neighbour Helping to stack chairs after an event

10 Types of formal service
Direct service which involves hands on, direct contact, for example working on the Mission Beat Bus. Indirect service which involves hands-on, but not direct contact, for example knitting blankets for a Winter Appeal. Advocacy which requires speaking out on behalf of an issue. Research which requires finding out information. Combining research, service and advocacy achieves very powerful outcomes for students learning about society.


12 Models of service learning
Embed service-learning into the curriculum of a single subject in a single year. Use service-learning as the vehicle for a ‘rich task’ approach. Have service-learning as a single, stand-alone course - elective or compulsory. Take a whole-of school approach, in which each year works on a facet of the project. Take an inter-school approach. Have a ‘service event’ which individual teachers then link to their curriculum.

13 Implementation Overview
Decide what you want to achieve – learning and service. Start small - Extend existing service activities into service-learning activities. Focus on projects within the class, within the school, with a feeder school, or with projects that require limited external visits. Get support from the Principal. Develop a support team within the school. Plan, plan, plan - thoroughly. Involve students as much as possible - in the initial planning and throughout the project. Get help - trainee teachers, retired teachers, parents etc. Publicise your success – throughout and finally. Make a school copy of your service-learning folder.

14 Getting Started Identify ‘starting points’, for example:
curriculum outcomes achieved through activities - ‘Develops and implements own ideas in response to an investigation of needs and wants.’ curriculum outcomes which address values - ‘Describes how Australian people, systems and communities are globally interconnected and recognizes global responsibility.’ existing programs – Anti-Bullying. existing community engagement activities - Anzac Day. interests of parents and/or students. work of local community organisations.

15 Enriching the ‘starting points’
When enriching the ‘starting points’, ask: - In this activity/area of the curriculum/area of interest, how can: values that are implicit be made explicit, reflected upon, modeled by teachers and acted upon student direction be encouraged learning be made explicit – academic learning (links to the curriculum) and other types of learning. intellectual inquiry and reflection be included the community be served (initially it might be the school community) parents be involved the project be celebrated the project be evaluated?

16 Introducing service learning – Step 1
Quality matters! First - design good quality service learning.

17 Researched based practices that improve student outcomes
Eight characteristics of effective service learning practice. Curriculum integration Ongoing, cognitively challenging reflection activities Student direction Respect for diversity Service is meaningful Both progress monitoring and process monitoring Sufficient duration Reciprocal partnerships

18 1 - Curriculum integration
Good quality service learning is planned and implemented with specific learning objectives in mind that are tied to content standards. With strong integration, students’ test scores in the subject matter area with which service learning is integrated can increase significantly. (Billig and Klute 2003, Billig and Sandel 2003, Meyer, Billig and Hofschire 2004; Santinire, Giraud and Groskopf 1999)

19 1 - Curriculum Integration
Factors related to higher academic impacts are: Clarity of academic goals. Clear connection between goals and activities. Reasonable scope. Support through focused reflective activities. (Ammon, Furco, Chi and Middaugh 2001)

20 1 - Curricular Integration – be clear about learning objectives
Academic learning in any subject. Learning to be a learner: Critical thinking, problem-solving, communication skills Learning about community: People, issues, resources, policies Inter and intra-personal learning: Working collaboratively with others Learning about other cultures Exploring personal values, ethics; appreciating different values Developing self-efficacy and empathy Career learning. Civic learning.

21 2 - Ongoing, cognitively-challenging reflection activities
Reflection is the critical link. Through reflection, students: Connect experience with learning Develop a sense of community in the school/class Improve observation and communication skills Develop an appreciation of community assets Deepen knowledge of issues or policy Develop an interest in taking action Develop greater understand personal values Develop inquiry skills

22 2 - Ongoing, cognitively-challenging reflection activities
Effective reflection is: Continuous – before, during and after the project. Connected – to specific learning objectives. Cognitively challenging – demanding problem-solving, decision-making, exploration, classification and hypothesis-testing skills. Contextualised – appropriate to the subject and student. Varied – multiple forms of reflection – written, oral and nonlinguistic. (Eyler, Giles and Schmiede 1996; Pritchard and Whitehead 2004)

23 3 - Student direction When service is imposed from above without youth input and without adequate structure and support, young people may view their service experience with indifference, suspicion or even hostility. (S.H. Billig) Giving students a say in every phase of a service-learning project has a strong influence on academic and civic engagement. (Billig, Root and Jesse 2005, Bradley 2003, Fredericks, Kaplan and Zeisler 2001)

24 3 - Student direction Students:
engage in problem solving, decision making, planning, goal setting and helping others. see themselves as change agents. develop leadership and public speaking skills. have improved interactions with teachers.

25 4 – Respect for diversity
Explicit teaching of respect and discussion of diversity is associated with multiple civic and character outcomes. (Billig, Root and Jesse 2005; Powers, Potthoff, Bearinger and Resnick 2003; Blozis, Scalise, Waterman and Wells 2002) It is most important that activities benefit both students and those being served so that students’ stereotypes of others are not reinforced.

26 4 – Respect for diversity
Ask: how will students demonstrate respect for people: from diverse cultural backgrounds with different ideas with disabilities from different generations who have different life circumstances.

27 5 – Service is meaningful
When service learning is viewed as valuable, useful, relevant and interesting, young people become more engaged and acquire more knowledge and skills. (Billig, Root and Jesse 2005; Blank 1997)

28 5 – Service is meaningful
Teachers can enhance students’ feelings that projects are meaningful by providing activities that: are substantive but not overwhelming are relevant and useful to them and those they serve – an interesting challenge that meets an important need are chosen by students and require analysis and problem-solving provide a personal connection to the task – often through the formation of a relationship elaborate beyond information in textbooks explicitly connect to previous experience require cognitively challenging skills - comprehension, explanation, exploration, debate etc.

29 6 – Progress monitoring and process monitoring: to improve practice
assessing the progress made towards reaching goals. Process monitoring: analysing the processes used to ensure that learning is maximised. When the monitoring is well connected to the tasks and outcomes and when teachers use this data to improve practice, service-learning achieves stronger outcomes. (Billig, Root and Jesse 2005)

30 7 - Duration Quality service-learning has sufficient time for students to transfer the academic knowledge learned through service experiences to other parts of the curriculum. Projects must be at least 70 hours long to have an impact on students. This includes preparation, action, reflection and demonstration of results. (Billig, Root and Jesse 20005)

31 8 - Reciprocal partnerships
Reciprocity is associated with sustainability of service-learning. (Kramer 2000; Ammon, Furco, Chi and Middaugh 2002) Reciprocal partnerships have: Mutual benefit Shared vision Two-way communication Interdependent tasks Common goals.

32 Agency School Focus Why engage? Project planning Scheduling
End product – clients served. Process – knowledge gained Why engage? Community need. Strategy to educate Project planning Templates – past and present Student direction – to learn and lead. Scheduling Needs of clients Class scheduling Site access Not responsible for ensuring access. Cost, liability, scheduling Measure success Service provision Meeting curricular standards Assessment How did we do? What will we do differently?

33 Introducing service learning - Step 2
Motivate: Students Parents Staff Community Agencies to become involved…..

34 Service learning and students: inform and motivate.
Before the project: Tell stories and watch videos. Invite someone with a personal experience to speak. Ask parents involved in community service to speak. Ask representatives from community agencies to visit.. Organise a trip to a local community agency. Invite older students to present to the class. During the project: Focus on student direction. Reflect before, during and after the project. Ask students and community agency to evaluate.

35 Service learning and parents: inform and motivate
Students (or the school) present to parents. Get students to ask parents, for example: What they care about in the community How members of the family have served others For suggestions about how the community might best be served. Tell parents the philosophy, goals and activities of the project and keep them updated. Make service visible in the school – photos, bulletin boards, student’s artwork, agencies’ thank-you letters. Invite parents to the service-learning celebrations.

36 The ‘learning challenge’ J
The ‘learning challenge’ J. Howard - Principles of Good Practice for Service Learning Pedagogy Discuss the ‘learning challenge’ in service learning. ‘In service learning, students must not only master academic material as in traditional courses, but also learn how to learn from unstructured and ill-structured community experiences and merge that learning with the learning from other course resources. Furthermore, in traditional courses students must satisfy only academic learning objectives. In service-learning courses, students must satisfy both academic and civic learning objectives. All of this makes for challenging intellectual work, commensurate with rigorous academic standards.’

37 S-L and staff: inform and motivate
Outline the characteristics of authentic service-learning: Projects are positive, meaningful and real. Involve cooperative, rather than competitive experiences. Address complex problems in complex settings. Offer students opportunities to engage in complex problem-solving. Deeper thinking is promoted – no ‘right answers.’ Is personally meaningful and so supports social, emotional and cognitive learning and development. Helps develop home, school, community partnerships. Discuss that Service Learning is an excellent way of implementing the Quality Teaching Framework and values education.

38 Service learning and the community
Start small and simple: class or school community feeder school remote community. If working locally, find out which agencies: are located nearby – students need time to travel to and from and produce meaningful work. would be willing to work with students of this age. conduct appropriate activities at the time service-learning is being timetabled. have sufficient staff to nominate at least one person to coordinate the program.

39 Service learning and the community: finding the agencies
To find suitable agencies, visit: Churches Community Centers Neighbourhood Centers Local Councils Ask parents and teachers for advice Also consider: Local police Hospitals Libraries Schools for Special Purpose.

40 Is It Worth It? Service learning is ‘Quality Teaching in Action’

41 Intellectual quality Deep knowledge
As they engage in addressing a real world issue, students focus on key concepts. They explore those concepts, clearly articulating the relationship among them to ensure that their knowledge is deep. Deep understanding Students demonstrate their deep understanding of ideas and concerns surrounding the service-learning issue in number of ways, including solving problems, giving explanations and drawing conclusions.

42 Intellectual quality Problematic knowledge
Students consider the issues from multiple perspectives, recognizing alternative possibilities and considering a range of options for their project. As they do so they discover that knowledge is problematic. Higher order thinking Service-learning tasks require students to use higher order thinking skills to organise, recognise, apply, analyse, synthesise and evaluate knowledge and information about the issue at hand.

43 Intellectual quality Metalanguage
Students are encouraged to employ metalanguage relevant to the subject or processes on which they are focused. Substantive communication Students reflect throughout the project. They discuss the project and articulate and communicate their ideas and arguments to others, in substantive communication.

44 Quality learning environment
Explicit quality criteria The criteria that ensure the quality of all aspects of a service-learning project are made explicit for students. Engagement Students are engaged in real-life projects that they have helped to shape, and which make classroom learning come alive.  This is highly motivational.

45 Quality learning environment
High expectations Conceptual risk-taking is encouraged as students investigate their community and identify a need experienced by a real audience. This determines that high expectations are set for the students’ project. Social support Students form a project team in which they inquire about real issues and respect and value each other’s contributions.  This provides strong social support.

46 Quality learning environment
Student direction Students propose, plan and implement their own project to meet identified community needs, and so clearly demonstrate student direction. Student self-regulation While engaging in cooperative decision-making, students self-regulate their behaviour.

47 Significance Background Knowledge
Students make use of their own background knowledge in establishing community needs and in planning and implementing the project.  Cultural Knowledge Projects often require understanding, valuing and accepting the knowledge, traditions, beliefs and values of diverse social groups, so opportunities for incorporating cultural knowledge of different groups often arise.

48 Significance Knowledge integration
Activities and projects are real-world, so knowledge integration is inevitable since students must bring to bear on their deliberations and activities knowledge from various Key Learning areas and subjects. Inclusivity Inclusivity is demonstrated as all students are encouraged to recognize differences and group identities and to be aware of the need to support members of non-dominant groups. Each individual involved in the project has their own special role to play, and is valued in that role.

49 Is it worth It? research summary NOTE: The more responsibility, autonomy and choice students have, the greater the effects. (Shelly Billing) Personal/social development Increase in personal and social responsibility, as well as in communication and educational and social competence. Elevated self-esteem, self-efficacy and sense of responsibility to their school More accepting of cultural diversity Less likely to be referred to the office for discipline Less likely to engage in unprotected sexual activity, violent activity and behaviors leading to arrest

50 Is it worth it? Research Summary
Civic Responsibility Higher awareness of community needs and felt they could make a difference Increased understanding of how the government works More likely to be active in community organizations Academic Learning Higher scores on state test of basic skills; higher test scores on several state assessments Higher grades and higher scores on state tests measuring reading for information and mathematics than non-participants (Elementary School) Schools reported attendance increases each year for three years

51 Is it worth It? research summary
Career exploration and aspirations Students reported that they learnt career and communication skills and gained more knowledge about career possibilities. Students developed positive work attitudes and skills School and communities More respect between students and other students, teachers and other teachers, and students and teachers Students and teachers have a greater bond to the school Less teacher turnover and greater teacher collegiality Members of communities participating in service-learning view youth as valued resources and positive givers to their community

52 Service learning – what our Lutheran theology says…
Creation and preservation of the universe: God’s creation was good…God still preserves his creation by making humans caretakes of God’s Creation (Genesis 1:28; 2:15) We are to value and preserve the environment God allows us to enjoy (CL3) p.5 Theological Notes (CSCF)

53 Sin and evil: The effects of sin…sin has resulted in broken relationships with God, ourselves, other people and the whole of creation p.13 Theological Notes (CSCF) The church: The early church was sufficiently concerned with service (diakonia) that 7 deacons were appointed to attend to it (Acts 6: 1- 6) p.26 Theological Notes (CSCF)

54 Service-Learning – what our Lutheran theology says…
Theology of the cross – the motivation for service …the motivation for service arises from theology of the cross as a response to the love and forgiveness of God in Christ… Christians are called to live a life of service to their neighbours (Eph 2: 8-10)… Service to God by serving others p.43 Theological Notes (CSCF)

55 The Christian has a call to faith (vocation as believers) and the call to serve the neighbour (vocation to serve in the world). For a Christian these are inseparably connected. Faith is directed towards God; good works are directed to the neighbour. Key Idea 2 p.43 Theological Notes (CSCF)

56 Service learning – what our Lutheran theology says…
Theologia curcis: theology of the way of the cross…Jesus made it clear that following him meant identifying with the poor and outcast… ‘Inasmuch as you did it to the least of these my children, you did it to me.’ (6 Challenges; 6 Mysteries)

57 Service learning – how the Bible challenges us…
Act justly mercy and...walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 “He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives, sight for the blind and freedom for the oppressed”. Luke 4:18 

58 Service learning – is it ‘just another thing’ for schools?
No… it is core… it is part of who we are as a Christian organization It is a way of living and learning that shows and grows our heart The ultimate model of Jesus as Servant-King speaks louder than any human words or phrases

59 This PowerPoint was developed with the help of Margaret Richmond – Empower Library Inc She is more than willing offer help and support to your school regarding any aspect of service learning.

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