Courses › Forums › Service Learning and Sustainability › Module 5: Meaningful Integration into Curriculum › Module 5 Discussion Forum
Module 5 Discussion ForumPosted by Tara on 24 June 2020 at 10:49 am
What does meaningful integration of service learning look like?Rebecca replied 2 years, 11 months ago 6 Members · 6 Replies
KatherineMember27 June 2020 at 7:39 am
In my workbook, I defined meaningful integration as “the purposeful combination of experiences to develop the skills needed to produce the desired results.” With the overall desired results of education, in my mind at least, being the development of engaged global citizens that use their knowledge and skills to make the world a “better and more peaceful place” (IB mission statement).
With all this in mind, I think that meaningful integration of SL looks like: students actively engaged in units of study that are focused around large cross-cutting concepts, follow the 5 stages of SL, and thus allow the students to practice and improve upon the ATL, aka 21st-century, aka critical skills that will allow them to better understand and take action in the community.
As I write this out I feel like I’m a spokesperson for the IB. This feels very much like the regurgitation of their mission and philosophy, yet I work at an IB world-school and this is not the reality of what’s happening in the classroom (at least not across the board). I think that most teachers would agree that this is a beautiful mission and philosophy, and the ideal model of education, yet we seem to still have so far to go to make it actually happen. Here’s to all of us for doing our part to push things forward! .
IanMember27 June 2020 at 9:37 am
Thanks for the much needed call to action at the end of a long semester!
From the module, readings, and chats, my biggest takeaway of meaningful integration also lies in UbD stage 1. Purposefully placing inquiry standards alongside the content standards will ensure that there are deliberate practice opportunities to learn and refine these skills. From chats in the large group and the break out group, as teachers, we assume that the students already have the necessary skills to inquire. Sadly, as we all know, that’s not always the case. Revisiting and enhancing those skills must be purposefully done.
JeremiahMember28 June 2020 at 1:22 am
I absolutely agree with your views! The IB philosophy is all about learners using the knowledge gained and skills developed to make the world a better and more peaceful place, but how often do we ‘intentionally’ teach this or teach with this mission in mind? By leveraging on Service Learning, we are able to help students make sense of all the learning to meet the needs of the community. This is where meaningful integration comes in and the mission of the IB then becomes a reality.
TaraAdministrator28 June 2020 at 3:26 am
Keep this in mind as you plan your unit integration, some excellent suggestions here guys!
KevinMember28 June 2020 at 3:35 am
Meaningful integration is that the service-learning emanates or is inspired by what is taught in the unit.
It is not added on but is inspired by the content of the unit. There should also be an element of learner agency involved.
RebeccaMember28 June 2020 at 10:30 am
Thailand’s Basic Education Core Curriculum has five overall goals; the fifth one explicitly states that students should develop an “Awareness of the need to preserve all aspects of Thai culture and Thai wisdom, protection and conservation of the environment, and public-mindedness with dedication to public service for peaceful and harmonious co-existence.” My new school, albeit international, is rooted in communicating Thainess (and as I mentioned earlier, the new school’s vision is quite %¤#”#).
I liked that Tara stated that “meaningful” can actually be interpreted in a variety of ways. I also like that she keeps pushing that we let students do as much as the driving as possible. In my recent reflections, I can see why I hit the roadblocks I did. I love the simple idea of just tying in learning experiences to the mission statements…like Laurence said, “Who would argue with that?”. I think I won’t even call my service learning designs “integration”…I don’t know why I was so concerned about giving lessons labels.
So meaningful for me, will be ensuring students’ have relevant experiences important to them.