Service Learning and Sustainability Institute

Pre sign up to this course with your preferred starting date

Dates: July 26th-29th, 2021

Join our engaging and interactive 5 day workshop and receive two certifications after completion of all learning assessments: 

  1. Serve Learn Level 1 Practitioner and Certification
  2. Compass Educator Level 1 Practitioner and Certification

Facilitators are Tara Barton and Laurence Myers


“This online 5 day intensive course includes interactive video, live instruction, group collaboration, and individualized time to work on integrating what you have learned into your curriculum. Designed specifically for K-12 educators to support the implementation of authentic service learning and sustainability both inside and outside of classrooms and schools with community.“


To develop foundational knowledge about Service Learning and Sustainability and how to embed these within classrooms, schools, with community. Opportunities to engage in collaboration on service learning models, system thinking tools, partnerships, impacts, resources, service learning and sustainability units/assessments, and engaging teaching strategies to help educators successfully embed at their schools. Participants will gain a greater awareness of their own systems contexts, skill in using systems thinking tools and the ability to successfully incorporate and align sustainability with existing curriculum. Understanding the IBDP CAS Guidelines and the standards and benchmarks for service learning integration will be explored.

Enduring Understandings:

  • Service learning provides meaningful opportunities to expand knowledge, apply concepts, develop skills and dispositions, and gain insight and understanding of community for agency and impact.
  • Systems thinking enables educators to help their students develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to participate in a complex and interdependent world.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Understanding what service learning is, and why all schools need a service learning program based on research. 
  2. Knowledge of how to implement the standards of service learning in a current unit through engaging instructional strategies for learner agency and impact. 
  3. Know how to set up meaningful community partnerships for projects, sustainability and impact.
  4. Discuss the imperative for sustainability education and Identify sustainability dispositions and examine their compatibility with personal educational philosophy and institutional values
  5. Understand the Compass as a whole system thinking tool supporting sustainability habits of mind. Explore the educational uses of systems thinking tools (behavior over time graphs, closed loop diagrams and the Iceberg Model)
  6. Examine how sustainability perspectives and systems thinking tools can be integrated into teaching and learning by adapting a unit/lesson plans to integrate sustainability perspectives and systems thinking tools

Participants will spend approximately 3 hours online and two hours of independent study and application of learning each day.

Instructor/Facilitator and Feedback:

To receive the Level 1 Serve Learn and Level 1 Compass certificate of participation participants need to complete all learning activities. Detailed feedback will be provided on the performance tasks that form the basis of the course summative assessments at the end of the workshop on Day 5. 

Note: Those wishing to receive the ‘Compass Practitioner’ (Level 1) certification will need to submit an application for certification including appropriate evidence.

Required Reading:

A Few Words From Our Happy Students


Access and download the workbook for this course


View a breakdown of the course schedule


Access the live interactive discussions for each module


Access the full set of resources for this course


Access and complete the required assignments


Tara Barton

Director at Serve Learn Educational Consultants

Tara Barton developed a passion for service learning on her first visit to South Africa as part of an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) Creativity, Activity, Action (CAS) program in 2002. The experience inspired her passion to develop sustainable and meaningful service learning in schools around the world. Tara is the Director of and provides educational consulting, professional development workshops, coaching, and resources to support schools. The Serve Learn curriculum (K-12 units, assessments, lesson plans, and resources) has been adopted by several schools around the world for meaningful service learning in schools for impact.

Tara is the Association of International Schools of Africa (AISA) Service Learning Programme Coordinator for the region. She has presented many workshops around the world for educators, leaders, partners, parents, and students.

Beyond her Bachelor of Education, Tara has a Masters in Educational Leadership (LeHigh, USA) and her Principals Training Certificate (PTC). She is an Understanding by Design (UbD) Trainer and has a Coaching Certification (UW, USA). Tara’s home is Australia, she has worked as an educational thought leader internationally for 18 years, and lived in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and is currently based in Australia.

Laurence Myers

Laurence Myers

Compass Education Trainer 

Laurence Myers is originally from Athens, Greece and is proud of it!  He is currently the Service Learning Coordinator at the American School of Dubai (ASD). He also serves as a steering committee member for Compass Education, a not-for-profit organization focusing on sustainability education through systems thinking processes and tools and serves as a Compass Education trainer. 

Laurence holds an M.Ed. degree in Educational Administration from the University of Nebraska, an M.A. in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in International Relations from The College of Wooster. He also holds a certificate in Education for Sustainable Development from the Earth Charter Institute (University of Peace), a Sustainability Leadership certificate from Ithaca College as well as a Serve & Learning Certificate in Service Learning from the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

His current work primarily emphasizes curriculum development and integration of ASD’s service learning framework across all learning environments but also includes heavy doses of collaboration and communication with administration, staff and external organizations. Additionally, he is experienced in establishing and supporting student-led Eco-Schools programs and coordinated ASD’s winning submission for a Zayed Sustainability Award Global High Schools category (MENA region). 

Laurence has presented and facilitated sustainability, service learning and systems thinking workshops and professional training within schools, at conferences and online throughout the world. 

When not working with sustainability and service learning he is seen coaching student athletes (in volleyball and basketball), supporting environmental initiatives, engaging in outdoor learning experiences or spending quality time with his wife and two beautiful daughters, ideally in natural settings.

$650USD / $350USD
(Our special discounted introductory rate)

Includes all Workshop materials and Participation/Certification Certificates. Any questions feel free to contact:

Not Enrolled
USD $350

Course Includes

  • 10 Modules
  • 38 Topics