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Meaningful Service Learning

Why our schools need to act now

As a service learning consultant, I am regularly asked: What is meaningful service learning? Service Learning becomes meaningful when we start by asking the simple question, “Why?” Why do service learning? Why care? Why do all schools need to act? As we move toward a more conceptual, connected, and personalised curriculum we must answer these important questions.

I believe every school should have a service learning program for students; connecting conceptual understandings of community needs to empower students to take action. It is also our charge to prepare our students with essential transdisciplinary and dispositional skills (21st century skills) for a rapidly changing future. A vision and mission of a school must be actualised through an effective service learning program, one that gives students opportunities for learning through: collaboration, communication, research, reflection, critical thinking, problem solving, and opportunities to demonstrate that they are indeed caring.

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Tara Barton

Tara brings passion and a deep understanding of service learning, rooted in years of experience, to her training. Her training builds bridges from theory to implementation while generously sharing her resources and knowledge to ensure our success. Tara works with the whole school (administration, teachers, students, and SL leaders) to build a sustainable program that is embedded in the curriculum and tied to the mission. She energized a faculty on a Friday afternoon, no easy feat, leaving them with a desire to learn more about SL and to become more involved. I cannot recommend Tara highly enough.

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