The monthly staff development session for TOGI academic personnel on Wednesday, 4 November 2020 took the form of a joint presentation by a guest speaker, Dr Karen Dos Reis, Senior Lecturer: Teaching and Learning Specialist Economics and Management Sciences Faculty of the University of the Western Cape and Dr Georina Westraadt, HOD Intermediate Phase Education at The Two Oceans Graduate Institute about Service Learning.
During their presentations, both these academics shared accomplishments in Service Learning projects that they were involved in at previous institutions. An anticipated outcome will be a TOGI staff inspired to embark on Service Learning projects by which TOGI students can become more aware of their personal and civic responsibility to serve the communities they live and work in.
What is Service Learning(SL)?
SL is an educational method that involves any kind of project that takes the required curriculum and finds applications in the community ending up with a real life product. All communities have needs and it is about how the student’s application can meet them.
- Tutoring other students and adults.
- Conducting art/music/dance lessons for youth.
- Giving presentations on violence and drug prevention.
- Helping in a homeless shelter.
- Creating life reviews for Hospice patients.
- Aiding non-profit organisation in animal welfare
- Environmental projects such as improving recycling efforts at their school.
Several institutions have done research on the benefits of Service Learning on learners:
- Learners improved their communication skills, self-awareness and knowledge of community needs.
- Improvement in learner averages.
- Encourage community participation.
- Allow hands-on learning.
- Cultivated mutual respect and kindness.
- Aided in learner’s connection with other individuals.
- Reduced behavioural problems.
- Improved levels of responsibility, empathy and self-esteem.
We trust that our inspired lecturers will inspire future teachers to include service learning as part of their curriculum, not only for the benefit of our learners but also for the benefit of our communities.
Article by: Dr Georina Westraadt