Developing a Service Learning Option for Senior Years

Consultant: Allan Appel

Service Learning is a model of community volunteerism in which students earn academic credit, enhance life skills, and grow as citizens through structured engagement with clients of social agencies. Allan Appel co-developed and implemented Educational Leadership Within a Service Learning Framework at the University of Winnipeg. This community experience changed the lives of both inner city residents and student teachers and can easily be adapted for high school students and course credit.

Service learning leads students to broaden their horizons and change perspectives on their citizenship in a diverse democracy. Through this program, students …

  • came to understand the root causes of social problems such as poverty and homelessness,
  • explored how citizen groups and agencies can effect change in the community,
  • examined models of leadership and explored the historical and cultural antecedents of service, and most importantly,
  • knew they were making a difference in clients’ lives – young people very often don’t get this feedback for their efforts and it can be life-changing.

Besides being an appealing option suited to Manitoba Stay-In-School initiatives, service learning will complement the Grade 12 Global Issues: Citizenship and Sustainability (40S) course.

Allan is prepared to share his experience in developing and implementing a service learning program. He will help senior years teachers to develop service learning courses the right way, to enhance the experience for both the student volunteers and community participants. Allan will impart his passion for the power of service learning through the presentation of concrete strategies, research, personal experience, and anecdotes gleaned from student reflections and feedback.

 Allan’s service learning approach combines academic instruction, meaningful service, and critical reflective thinking to promote student learning and civic responsibility. His one-day workshop provides all the materials and strategies to enable senior years teachers to implement a service learning program. Allan will share:

  • documents and strategies for recruiting partner agencies,
  • policies and practices that keep the program on track,
  • actual class material to prepare students for service in the field,
  • follow-up activities to enhance the program and students’ higher-order learning,
  • assessment strategies for course credit purposes, and
  • policies and practices for effective cooperating agencies.

In addition, Allan will present research results showing that the program has the intended effect on students – that they feel more involved with their community and get valuable experience to enhance their outlook for meaningful work.

With advanced notice, participants will be enrolled in a learning management system (Edmodo – at no cost) to facilitate distribution of material and feedback.

Allan Appel is an experienced middle and senior years teacher and university instructor. Allan has mentored groups as varied as teacher candidates at the U of Winnipeg, teachers in Seven Oaks School Division and members of the public concerning Service Learning.