Unit 1

What is Service-Learning?

A Introduction

Welcome to the first unit of the “Service-Learning Pedagogy and Practice” online course for secondary school teachers.

You may wonder what service-learning means. Let’s start with voluntary services you are familiar with. Some of you may have encouraged or led your students to do voluntary work or community services in the past, such as:

  • tutoring children from underprivileged families,
  • visiting old people at homes for the elderly,
  • cleaning beaches, or
  • doing unpaid work or providing free services for charitable organizations, etc.

But do these activities qualify as service-learning?

In this unit, we will explain what service-learning is, and how it differs from other types of service programmes. We will also look at some questions which teachers frequently ask about service-learning.