The past few years have been tough on our service learning and global citizenship programs. Covid has disrupted our school schedules and learning experiences; teachers and students alike have struggled to maintain personal wellness and balance in the face of online learning, restricted travel and face-to-face connections, and personal and collective losses.
Some schools have put their community partnerships on hold and others have seen curricular integration of service learning slow down or take a backseat to more pressing logistical concerns.
As the 2021/22 school year moves into the spring season, it’s a good time to take stock of what we’ve learned during the past two years and imagine how we can reinvigorate our service learning programs.
If you find yourself nodding in response to any of these statements or questions, the upcoming AISA Service Learning Conference Day on April 27th may offer some of the solutions and ideas you’re looking for.
The theme of the day is “Going Beyond the Basics: Service Learning to Disrupt and Heal”, and four guiding questions will frame our sessions for the day:
If we can explore these questions in meaningful and purposeful ways together, we will be able to reshape and redesign our service learning programs in much more deliberate, critical ways. And critical service learning is key to sustainable, purposeful, and ethical service. As quoted in an article by Stanford University Professor Tania Mitchell: “the development of critical service learning, whose goal is to contribute to the creation of a just and equitable society, demands that we become critically conscious of the issues of power and privilege in service learning relationships.” (Click on link below for the full article.)
It’s crucial that we ask challenging questions to ensure the service we are involved in (with ALL our service partners) is equitable, inclusive, thoughtful, and critical. At this point in time, whether our service learning programs have been on hold because of Covid or whether they have maintained momentum throughout the pandemic, it behooves us to pause and evaluate where we are and where we’d like to be.
Click Here to register for the AISA Service Learning Conference Day, and if you have any questions about the Service Learning Conference Day, or about the AISA service learning program in general, please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s connect, learn, and grow our programs together.
by LeeAnne Lavender
AISA Service Learning Advisor
The Association of International Schools in Africa is dedicated to serving its members throughout Africa during this challenging time. Please let us know if you require additional or specific information, resources and or support, and we will endeavour to assist you as soon as possible.