Service-learning is an important way that all members of the A.B. Paterson College community can work together in, “developing young men and women of character – leaders now and for the future.”
An experiential learning pedagogy, Service-learning integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection, to enhance the learning experience and achieve identified outcomes (National Service-Learning Clearing House, 2013). Young people are perhaps our greatest resource, and through Service-learning, students learn real life skills, contribute to their communities and learn that they have a responsibility to serve their community. Integral to effective Service-learning is meeting genuine need. Thus, Service-learning connects three domains: cognitive (the head), affective (the heart) and behavioural (the hands) (Billig, 2004), to facilitate student growth and participation in their communities.
Through A.B. Paterson College’s Service-learning programme, students will understand the value of engagement with their community, local to global, and we hope they will contribute actively to making a meaningful difference in that community, whilst at school and beyond.
Service-learning complements A.B. Paterson College’s Teaching for Understanding approach to teaching and learning through:
- promoting cognitive engagement and facilitating deeper understanding of community issues;
- engaging students in real life learning through the application of knowledge and skills gained in and out of the classroom;
- having students contribute to their community through helping address community issues; and,
- creating meaning through the process of reflection, a vital component of service-learning.
At A.B. Paterson College, Service-learning embraces the attainment of intended outcomes in the academic, pastoral and co-curricular curricula, for we aim to educate the whole student and have specific and intended outcomes in all these areas for our students.
Service-learning is reaching the hearts of our community, supporting the understanding of our students through real-life applications of their learning, and building positive relationships between students, staff and community partners. We look forward to the continued growth of Service-learning in our College.