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 the A.B. Paterson College Service-learning program, 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 the A.B. Paterson College 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 areas, as we aim to educate the whole student. 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.