Service-learning with students maximizes their capacity for growth and resilience. GROUND Asia encourages teachers to work with students individually to develop and deepen the student’s personal knowledge. While we provide opportunities for students to be creative and experience the satisfaction of combining service-learning with their personal values, GROUND Asia is present at every stage of the service-learning process to support teachers and their students.
The First Stage – Investigation
As administrators and teachers, we are always trying to empower students to look outside themselves and be part of a larger community. Teachers should start by gathering information about potential countries or organizations that host service-learning projects or contact GROUND Asia for further information. As we have already surveyed the local communities that we partner with, our team can customize educational tours around the students’ schedules. In addition, we can tailor the service-learning projects to focus on specific skills or activities that educators want their groups to work on. We can provide you with materials identifying the needs of each community while analyzing the underlying problems surrounding modernization and development. This information can help teachers prepare workshops or lesson plans for their groups as educators introduce students to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The Second Stage – Preparation
As educators prepare their students, teachers can steer their groups towards thinking of community development as a system. Systems thinking recognizes that problems are often multi-layered and solutions often require a series of incremental corrections. As GROUND Asia collaborates with community partners, smaller projects that groups complete are often part of a larger series of improvements. In order to establish realistic and feasible parameters for each group, development projects require everyone’s support. We can work with school administrators and teachers to define student’s roles accurately and clearly before they start working for the parents’ peace of mind. These preparations will ensure that the students are fully supervised, well-managed, and working in a safe environment during their service project.
The Third Stage – Action
Our service-learning plans are always carefully carried out in rural communities with our students. While students are free to self-organize into their own teams, while working on these projects, we recommend that teachers still help students clarify their roles if anybody is having difficulty working together. GROUND Asia always plans the service-learning program with the mutual agreement and respect of our hosts. We ask that everyone be ready to do some hard work. While students integrate the theories that they learned with practical application, working with the locals will show them the value of having a strong community.
Our customized educational travel programs offer students unique experiences that lead to self-discovery. Integrating service and learning oftentimes brings classroom textbooks to life. Our programs instill a sense of responsibility in students, they will develop personal efficacy and increased self-awareness. Empowered individuals have a higher propensity to excel in the future as they discover how to collaborate with others and maintain an open-mind to learn about the community.
The Fourth Stage – Reflection
Without the process of reflection, students won’t be able to describe what happened. Another worthwhile strategy for educators is discussing the group’s thoughts and feelings in relation to the timeline of their service-learning project. As the group forms clearer ideas, opinions, and questions, teachers ask them how the students’ values have changed once being exposed to the community. While receiving feedback, teachers can help the group communicate difficult and sensitive subject matters.
Other useful questions include, “how did students make adjustments when necessary to keep the project going smoothly?” As the service-learning was carried out, “how did their understanding of textbook theories change as they formed necessary partnerships?” Finally, “what community values or theories-in-use did they take away from their service-learning?” As students examine the difference their project made, they can look back at what improvements they were responsible for.
The Fifth Stage – Demonstration
Upon returning, students usually showcase what they learned and how they have developed personally during their service-learning. Utilizing the school’s social channels and local media outlets is an effective strategy to share their experience and raise awareness of the issues their project and host communities work on.
If you are interested in setting up a customized service-learning program, please contact us. Our team can tailor the educational tour to fit your schedule and the needs of your students. We are completely transparent with schools and our host communities and do not profit from the service-learning projects in our programs.
GROUND Asia partners with communities across Asia to assist in their sustainable development. The communities we work with are our clients. To meet their expectations, we empower them through mutually beneficial programs to ensure their development needs come first.