Service Learning at ISS-An Introduction

"Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For indeed that's all who ever have. ” - Margaret Mead

C:\Documents and Settings\carolyng\My Documents\Downloads\ISS_sg_logo_hor_cr_pms_pos (1).pngAt ISS meaningful service-learning is integral to our mission and philosophy. It creates opportunities for age appropriate awareness and transformation of self and others through sustainable, reciprocal relationships built with communities and individuals in local and global contexts.

ISS’s Mission is to provide a multicultural educational environment for our students in which they achieve academic success, personal growth and become socially responsible and active global citizens with an appreciation of learning as a life-long process. We accomplish this through an international and dynamic curriculum delivered by an enthusiastic and experienced faculty and staff in partnership with students, parents and guardians, in a caring and supportive community.  Our mission has been articulated into our school’s Vision Statement, which is “educating to make a difference”.

Service learning is an ideal way to help our ISS community fullfill its mission as we work across our PYP, MYP and DP programmes to develop learners who value the opportunities for lifelong personal growth, social responsibility and global citizenship that service learning brings. We believe service learning offers all members of the ISS community the chance to engage meaningfully with real life contexts and challenges that transform how they see themselves and their world.

Service Learning and the Learner Profile
The Learner Profile is integral to all levels of the International Baccalaureate. Through engaging with the research, planning, action and reflection embedded in meaningful service learning, ISS students of all ages can become:

Inquirers: As they seek to understand in depth the social and historical systems or contexts that create inequalities amongst and between groups and communities around the world, and find ways in which they can make meaningful contributions to filling these gaps and working towards equality and sustainability at home and abroad.

Knowledgeable: As they deepen their factual and contextual understandings of the world they live in and their roles as its global citizens, and share these understandings with others using a range of formal and informal methods.

Thinkers: As they learn in age and developmentally appropriate ways to analyze and challenge their own assumptions and biases, to critically evaluate ideas and solutions and to question the systems they live in from a range of perspectives.

Communicators: As they express questions, opinions and responses to global and local issues and offer proposals and solutions in spoken, written and visual formats to a range of audiences.

Principled: As they engage with service learning projects with integrity and honesty, and ethical approaches to working with communities in need that recognise the dignity and rights of all human, animal and plant members of the planet.

Open-Minded: As they critically appreciate their own privilege as international students while also respecting and valuing the knowledge and realities of indigenous and developing communities around the world, and respecting and valuing the contributions and talents of their peers in working towards making a difference in local and global contexts.

Caring: As they develop and show empathy and compassion in understanding the realities faced by communities in need around the world, and as they engage with service activities with positive and caring attitudes that highlight working in relationships of trust and solidarity with others less fortunate than them.

Risk Takers: As they challenge themselves to live and work in unfamiliar and uncomfortable surroundings and situations, to remain resourceful and resilient in the face of change and uncertainty, and to step beyond their comfort zones in expressing ideas, questions and solutions that challenge others’ biases or assumptions and allow them to engage with difficult realities.

Balanced: As they recognize and strive to sustain a sense of interdependence and interconnectedness with other people and the world in which we live, and continually work towards deepening their understanding of how to use their privilege as international students as a force for social change and transformation.

Reflective: As they thoughtfully consider the world as a historical and social system that has created inherent inequalities, and continually strive to understand and enhance their potential within that system to be agents of change and transformation through a process of self reflection, evaluation and goal setting.