Teachers use service learning to make abstract subjects real for students.
There are some issues that are difficult to address but important to learn about. Take poverty, for example – in 2011, just over one billion people lived in what the World Bank calls “extreme poverty”, surviving on less than US$1.25 a day.
A teaching method championed by the IB, service learning is formally recognized through Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) activities but is encouraged as a teaching method in the Middle Years Program.
To assist students in completing their service learning project, teachers follow a five-stage process; investigating the issue, preparing for action, taking action, reflecting on what has been done and demonstrating what has been learned.
- Finding a Real Need
Service-learning experiences are most effective when students are working towards tackling an authentic need in the community.
- Stop and reflect
Documenting and reflecting on service performed is important, and teachers need to think about how to do this effectively.
- Suitable for all ages
Service learning shouldn’t be limited to older students.
- Citizens of the future
Although it may seem like a lot of time and effort, the benefits of service learning can be remarkable. It can help students better comprehend their learning.