3/4/09 2:14 PMClassroom Leadership:Beyond Class Time:Service-LearningPage 1 of 3http://www.ascd.org/publications/classroom_leadership/apr2001/Service-Learning.aspx
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April 2001 | Volume
Beyond Class Time
An International Perspective
Here are a few things I've observed about internationalschools: these schools often stress the importance of educating their students to be global citizens. These schoolsalso tend to be concerned about nurturing their relationshipswith the local community.Here are a few things I know about service learning: there are many ways students canperform meaningful service to their communities. Service learning activities can alsobroaden a child's mind and build an appreciation for cultural diversity.From what I've observed and what I know, I believe that service learning programs can bea powerful tool for enhancing and enriching the educational experience offered byinternational schools.
Service Learning at Woodstock School
For one semester, I was a guest consultant on service learning at Woodstock School.Founded in 1854, Woodstock School is an international, co-educational, boarding schoolsituated in the Himalayas of Northern India. The school's academic program leads to anAmerican high school diploma, or certifications and external examinations recognized inIndia, the U.K., Europe, and elsewhere. With approximately 450 students from almost 30countries, Woodstock's trademark is delivering an education to young men and women ingrades K–12 who are called upon to function in a global context, as reflected in the school'smission statement:Through living and learning in this school community, which offers a rich andvaried program, Woodstock strives to nurture and inspire each young person tobe a globally aware and responsible citizen, committed to service to others andstewardship of the earth.In addition to a strong and multi-faceted academic curriculum, Woodstock has a strongstudent-run service program, called CARE, and an outdoor-education program. A full weekof the school year is designated as Activity Week, during which the entire student bodystudies for a week outside of the classroom, goes on historic and cultural tours, andperforms community service work. Although these are excellent educational opportunities inand of themselves, Woodstock's service-learning framework enriches their educationalvalue. The process also provides documentation of student involvement and growth in areasthat are often difficult to assess.For example, four of Woodstock's desired student outcomes are to buildAn awareness of cultural differences and global diversity.Skills and leadership ability.An understanding and appreciation of Indian culture and history.A commitment to the service of others in need.
Participation in experiential education activities can contribute dramatically to student growth ineach of these four areas.
That student growth is further enhanced through reflection. Woodstock has recentlydesigned a set of reflection instruments for middle school and high school students to use
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