Learning is not confined to the four walls of the classroom. Learners will have the chance to practice different skills and further enhance their learning through hands-on applications brought about by their experiences outside it. Have you heard about service learning?
Service Learning is a kind of learning where community services are combined with learning objectives. It is a way for students to experience a real-world environment while contributing to the communities they immerse themselves with.
Service Learning is a form of experiential education wherein students get a first-hand experience of helping the community. This experience makes them aware of the different social conditions they will be in once they finish their degree.
Volunteering and community service programs are examples of service-learning.
Why Engage in Service-Learning?
Engaging in service-learning gives a lot of benefits for people, not just as learners but as a human being as well.
- Promotes Interpersonal Learning
By participating in service-learning, one can re-evaluate themselves in reflection to their experiences. For privileged people, it will make them realize their privileges and be more appreciative of what they have. The whole experience can make you re-evaluate your values and give you a different motivation as you move forward.
- Academic Benefit
Since service-learning activities are practical applications of the concepts that learners learn inside the classroom, it will give them the chance to practice critical problem solving.
By being able to be in the situation, learners will be able to have concrete experiences of the theoretical concepts taught inside their classrooms.
- Professional Preparation
Service-Learning gives you a glimpse of real life. As students inside the classroom, we are taught about concepts and ideas that we will apply once we graduate. However, service-learning allows you to practice these concepts even while you are still in the bounds of the university.
- Encourages Development of Ideas
Since learners are already exposed to the real world, they will be able to develop new ideas that will be more applicable to the current situation. By being grounded with the realities of life, they will be able to come up with ideas that truly serve as a solution to the problem.
- It can make you an active citizen
By experiencing first-hand the issues and challenges experienced by the community, it can encourage students to be a productive citizen. It can even help them transform and contribute more to its betterment because of the fresh perspective it offers.
Service Learning allows you to discover yourself more. This whole new experience will allow you to reflect on different things and can lead you to discover yourself more.
- Professional Linkages
You may also meet some professionals in your field while doing service-learning. These connections can be helpful in the future for the career you want to pursue.
How can I get involved in Service-Learning?
You can ask your high school or college if they offer any service-learning projects. If your school doesn’t offer it, you can explore the option of volunteering abroad.
There are different volunteer abroad organizations that can link you to communities where you can do you immersion. Just make sure to do a thorough background check so you will be in safe hands. Exposure can range from week-long to month-long, depending on your preference. This will be a good learning experience for you because you will be able to see a world outside of your own. The experience lets you gain new perspectives that can make you reflect on your current situation.
Whether you are a child, student, or adult, service-learning will always be open for you. Every day is a chance to learn something new, but this new learning can be more meaningful if it is acquired in the bounds of a community that needed help. For you, it might just be a learning experience. But for them, it can mean their future.