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Module Synopsis
Service learning has become a key component of international school programmes. In this course, students will be introduced to the development and principles of service learning in education, its purposes and outcomes, and the characteristics of service learning programmes in the context of international schools. Particular emphasis is placed on how the International Baccalaureate (IB) understands and enacts service learning throughout the IB continuum. Students will consider criteria and evidence for the effectiveness of service learning through different conceptual frames. For example, students will consider the ways in which service learning impacts individual development, personal and social identity, the development of civic awareness and practice, intercultural understanding, and power relationships in society. Students will attend two lectures (six contact hours) and a three hour briefing session, covering the purposes of service learning in the context of international schools with a particular focus on the implementation of Service Learning in the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and Middle Years Programme (MYP) of the IB, and its relationship to constructivist pedagogy. Service learning in other IB programmes will be briefly considered. Following the lectures, students will gain experience in designing and implementing service learning through collaboration with an international school. Students will develop a proposal for their service learning, based on what they have learned from the literature as well as the needs and context of their particular school of choice. After the proposal has been approved by the school supervisor, the students will engage in their service learning experience, thereby guided by their school-based supervisor as well as course lecturer. The students will engage in ongoing reflection on the appropriateness and effectiveness of the service activities. They will make judgements during the service learning experience, respond to comments and advice from their supervisor and course lecturer and seek to solve problems identified through their reflection. Students are assessed based on their direct engagement in the service learning activities, as well as through reflective activities, including the development of an individual service learning portfolio and a group presentation, in which they will describe and critically analyse the purposes, structure, implementation, effectiveness, and impact of their service learning experiences. Through engagement with the course literature, it is expected that students will also reflect on their learning about the purposes and nature of service learning, and the issues and problems associated with its implementation in international schools.