Philosophy of Service Learning
At ISL we believe that Service Learning is an essential component of a holistic education. Through Service Learning, we aim for our students to extend and apply what they have learned in the classroom, putting it into action in the wider world/community. Effective Service Learning requires meaningful service projects that both meet the genuine need of the recipient of the service, and allow the opportunity for students to experience personal growth and learning as a result of their action.
Through Service Learning, we aim for all students to gain a greater understanding of the communities they are connected with, both local and global, and to encourage them to think about how they can positively impact these through their own self-initiated and planned action. Ideally, Service Learning projects should allow students to engage directly with the beneficiaries over a significant period of time in order to allow real understanding of the issue to occur and for mutually respectful relationships to develop between the students and those they are helping.
In order to help the students achieve the personal growth and learning that is the rationale behind Service Learning, we guide our students through a full planning and reflection process. Here we encourage the students to consider the reasons why their service is necessary, the impact of their service and we also expect our older students to consider the ethical implications of their service action. Finally, we encourage our students to share their Service Learning experiences with their fellow students and with the rest of the community, and we provide various occasions and forums for this to occur.
As a school, we have developed the following set of criteria which summarise our beliefs about Service Learning, and which should act as a guide for all our students.
- must meet a genuine need and be mutually beneficial
- develops human relationships and shows long term commitment
- develops empathy and respect
- should involve authentic links to what is learnt in class
- should follow a cycle of inquiry including planning, action and reflection
- experiences should be shared
IB Service Learning Outcomes
The International Baccalaureate Organisation provides a coherent set of learning outcomes for Service Learning which are aligned across both the Middle Years and Diploma Programmes.
ISL students should:
- Become aware of their own strengths and develop areas for growth.
- Undertake challenges that allow them to develop new skills.
- Initiate, plan and evaluate their own Service Learning projects.
- Show commitment to and perseverance in their Service Learning projects.
- Be able to work collaboratively with others, and recognise the benefits of doing so.
- Engage in issues of global significance which allow them to develop intercultural understanding.
- Recognise that their actions have consequences, and consider the ethical implications of their actions.