Lutheran schools and early childhood services are communities that
value learning as God’s gift to people for their wonder, growth,
and to inspire them to respond to the needs of the world.
Growing deep: Our foundation
Service learning video series produced by LEA
Jodie Hoff speaks about:
Laura Robbins explores the 7 elements:
Laura Robbins discusses service learning and Christian Studies:
LEA acknowledges the work of Jodie Hoff, the principal of LORDS, who developed the original service learning resources that form the basis of this site.
What is service learning?
Service learning in Lutheran schools
Service is faith active in love. Service involves the selfless giving and loving of others, making a difference in their lives by responding to their needs, and acting without expecting recognition or reward. A Lutheran school challenges students to grow in their understanding that service is not only a personal response to God’s love but a broader response as part of one’s humanity for the sake of justice for all.
Therefore students in a Lutheran school learn about serving and learn through serving. This concept is known as service learning. [LEA Service learning in Lutheran schools]
Br Damien Price:
What are the benefits of service learning?
There are benefits to both students and the community. These include: making learning more useful, relevant and alive. Interpersonal skills and social awareness is improved and service learning promote active learning.
Service learning in Lutheran schools
A vision for learners and learning in Lutheran schools
Pastor Norman C Habel challenges Lutheran schools to consider their teaching and action around social justice issues [The Reuther Oration 2005]
A principal's perspective
An interview with Ruth Butler, Principal Grace Lutheran College
A theological perspective
The CHRISTIAN LIVING [CL] strand is concerned with Christian teachings about living in relationship with God and how this inspires Christians to live in love and service in the local and global community.
Christian Living Key Idea 2: Christians are called to love and serve all people
Pastor Terry Unger, Chaplain at St Andrews Lutheran College, provides a theological perspective to frequently asked questions.
6 challenges 6 mysteries the charter for the future of Lutheran education established in 2004.
Meg Noack has pulled together a range readings for service learning under the heading of Christian roots of service learning - service and social justice
This article, written by Richard Glover published on the Bible Society website, identifies five things we should note from Jesus about what it means for us to be neighbours.
A model for service learning
‘Where ever possible this component should provide a series of ‘first hand’ experiences for students with a particular focus on students analysing their gifts and talents and connecting this with diverse global needs (that are both near and far).’
Action can either be direct or indirect based on the specific needs of the community and partnership.
‘Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.’ Aristotle
Standing up for others. Giving voice.
This component focuses on an explicit teaching of the meaning of advocacy and its different forms and forums. Advocacy is about making a difference through political and/or public education.
‘ Offer students opportunities to engage in problem-solving by requiring them to understand the specific context of their service learning activity and community challenges, rather than only to draw upon generalized or abstract knowledge from a textbook. As a result, service learning offers powerful opportunities to acquire the habits of critical thinking; ie the ability to identify the most important questions or issues within a real-world situation.’
‘Reflection is more than summarizing and talking about feelings during the experience (it’s still important to do both of these). It should involve challenging thinking, analysis, problem solving and interpretation. Reflection experiences need to be intentionally structured to help participants internalise, interpret and apply their experiences, integrating into their knowledge and who they are. Reflection occurs before, during and after service –learning experience.’
RMC Research Corporation. (2007). Reflection in K-12 Service-Learning. Scotts Valley, CA: National Service-Learning Clearinghouse.
Starting a journey
An introduction to service learning
This PowerPoint can be used as a starting point for planning professional learning opportunities for staff and covers: what is service learning? implementing service learning, planning an experience, what does the research suggest? and theology and service learning.
Prepared by Meg Noack, LEQ, this resource is divided into three sections to make service learning thinking visible. Teachers are invited to clarify current service learning practices and personal thinking, expand and build common understandings and identify service learning resources to support new/current practices.
This PowerPoint was used in a P-12 staff meeting about 2-3 years into St Andrews service learning journey. Prior to this the school had defined what service learning is and is not. An audit had also been completed to look at what was already happening in the school. The staff meeting that this PowerPoint was used for, focused on developing staff's understanding of the model for service learning. In year levels/departments staff then refined a unit of work that they have been working on based on the model.
A service learning approach that focuses on all students, from all year levels is essential in developing a culture of service in the school community.
This checklist provides questions as a starting point prior to the commencement of service learning in a school.
This reflection tool assists staff to determine areas for further preparation for the development of service learning.
From Lutheran Education Queensland's 2014 Service Learning activities
Using reflections from the LEA Service Learning Study Tour, Johnny Hedt writes this material as a possible basis for a service learning strategic plan/framework for Geelong Lutheran College
Snapshots - schools starting the journey
Answers the questions: where has the school been in the past with its service learning journey and what has worked well? Where is the school at now? Where do you see service learning going in the future and how do you plan for this?
A reflection of how the school views service learning and the thinking that has gone into how they have developed their service learning 'world view'.
Planning an experience
There are essential components for all service learning projects. Listed are seven best practices in order of imporance for quality service learning.
These guidelines, activities and questions provide an example used in a year 9 class of planning and preparation prior to and during service learning activities.
A partnership can be simple or complex. This document outlines a commonly accepted basic framework for understanding a continuum of relationships.
It is essential for any local service learning project that school staff researches their local community and serve the community in a planned and strategic way. For local initiatives, you need to know your local community. This document provides a starting point with suggested local service learning possibilities.
National service learning projects or activities typically revolve around Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities, newly settled refugee communities or church or community groups in other areas of the country. This document provides a starting point with suggested national service learning possibilities.
Hope Vale provides a unique service and cultural learning destination for Lutheran school groups because of its connection with the Lutheran church, the range of community organisations where student groups could be involved and the many cultural experiences students could participate in.
Sustainable development is a process that empowers people in poor communities to ultimately help themselves. This document provides detailed definitions of sustainable development and provides examples.
International learning and service trips
It is important that the purpose and focus of the trip is clear. Provided are questions to consider, benefits to service learning experiences, preparation and planning processes and information regarding training sessions.
Having an international focus as part of your service learning program may involve a partnership with an overseas group. This may or may not involve sending students and/or teacher overseas as part of the program. Provided are questions that need to be asked as an international project is considered. Also refered to in the article Hands-on help can be harmful provided at the end of the document.
ALWS have been running student Christian learning and service tours for Lutheran schools since 2004. This document outlines the 2014 tour details, benefits, guidelines and answers the question: where to now?
Travel Safety Policy
Contact Australian Lutheran World Service for the most up to date information regarding the travel safety policy.
Service learning in the curriculum
For Clean Up Australia Day, a teacher at a local school decides that students will clean up part of the banks of the Brisbane River. This is one example of a service learning program.
The Australian Curriculum
There are many opportunities to link LEA’s service learning initiative to the Australian Curriculum. First, we must remember that the notion of service learning in Lutheran schools is two-fold; first service is ‘personal response to God’s love’ and second, ‘a broader response as part of one’s humanity for the sake of justice for all.’ Service learning in Lutheran Schools, 2010.
A summary of St Andrews Lutheran College religion and ethics program
An example of St Andrews Lutheran College assessment item
Some stories of service learning
This unit explores the way we treat people within our families and how that can determine how we treat people outside of our families. Students are encouraged to identify the roles of those in their family including the work, home chores and recreational activities of each. Scripture passages are also provided.
Everyday students can make a difference to the lives of the people that make up their whole school community. In this activity students are able to think of ways they can help others in the school.
As part of the school’s mission, the idea of ‘peace’ and developing ‘intercultural understandings’ is at the heart of the community. With this in mind the school has embarked on establishing a partnership with the Islamic College of South Australia (Adelaide). This ‘snapshot’ shares the planning and preparation that has gone into starting this partnership.
The elective program for the Middle School at St Andrews runs every semester. It is a vertical program and students get to choose three electives a semester. The teachers from the two electives decided to plan, teach, implement and assess their units together. ‘Not Just Skin Deep’ (girls elective) and ‘Bronzed Aussie’ (boys elective) focuses on how students’ can live an active and healthy lifestyle while making well informed decisions about their well-being.
This document does not go into too much detail on buddies programs or service learning but rather is designed to bring the two concepts together in order to enhance them and prime students for bigger and better things as they progress through secondary school.
Friendly neighbours can make a big difference to the lives of people who live in them. There are times when we need the support of those people who live closest to us. During this unit students will realise that they can make a difference to their local community by choosing to build helpful and supportive relationships.
At Tarrington Lutheran School, students are called to serve on a daily basis. Not only are children encouraged to serve each other in the way they interact with each other but they are also immersed in serving others in a much wider context.
At the start of the year, Faith run house camps in the Senior School (vertical Year 10-12). A Head of House decided to plan a service learning camp. The following ‘Snapshot’ shares the process of the preparation, implementation and reflection involved with the camp. Throughout the camp it was made known to the students explicitly what phase of the service learning process they were experiencing and the purpose behind it.
Service activities play an important part of the culture at Luther. Michael Kleidon, the college’s principal, says that involving students in service activities provides opportunities for them to share Christ’s love.
The Partnership between LORDS and the local TriCare Aged Care Facility at Pimpama aims to build cross-generational relationships between the aged residents in residential care and Year 11 students. Cross-generational buddying provided young people with skills to build cross-generational friendships and better understand the joys and challenges of living through different eras in time. For the aged, buddy-visits provided sustained relationships and interests that contributed to observable improvements in health and well-being.
St Marks has a Social Justice Policy which underpins and gives focus to the values, learning and action that takes place in the community. This ‘snapshot’ shares how the policy ‘lives’ in the school community (locally, nationally and globally).
When establishing partnerships it is important that students and communities understand the issues relating to poverty, cultural issues and sustainable development. ALWS Awareness Day and associate resources allow schools to explore these issues.
We would love to publish a snapshot of service learning at your school. Please email email@example.com
The Lutheran Church of Australia
This statement describes the partnerships of the Lutheran Church of Australia between its own agencies and with parties overseas to conduct its mission and ministry within and beyond Australia.
The LCA Mission International (formely Board for Mission) team seeks to encourage people from all walks of life, congregations and Lutheran schools to join in God’s mission in this troubled and hurting world, with the belief that this is best done in partnership with others - Churches and people - through the work that they are already doing in their countries and with their near neighbours.
Schools can serve others in the global family through supporting the work of Australian Lutheran World Service and Mission International (formerly Board for Mission). These agencies provide the opportunity to uphold justice in the global community and to reach out to whole communities with the Christian faith through the provision and supporting of aid and community development.
Australian Lutheran World Service staff are passionate about developing relevant service learning programs in Lutheran Schools around Australia. Each year ALWS offers a range of services and opportunities to Lutheran schools and their teachers.
Australian Lutheran World Service www.alws.org.au
Lutheran Church of Australia mission international http://www.lcamission.org.au/
Oz Spirit www.ozspirit.info
Global dimension www.globaldimension.org.uk
Global education: teacher resources to encourage a global perspective across the curriculum www.globaleducation.edu.au
Service learning http://www.servicelearning.org.au/
Oxfam (Search on curriculum for global citizenship skills) www.oxfam.org.au
Developmental assets (search institute) www.search-institute.org/developmental-assets
The fair trade association www.fta.org.au/
Faith inkubators Australia www.faithink.com.au/
Youth off the streets www.youthoffthestreets.com.au
Learn and serve Australia www.lasa.org.au
Student volunteering and service learning clic.det.nsw.edu.au/student_volunteering/index.htm
Maryland state department of education www.marylandpublicschools.org/MSDE/programs
National service learning clearinghouse www.servicelearning.org/
Service learning initiative of Chicago public schools servicelearning.cps.k12.il.us/Successful.html
Kids consortium www.kidsconsortium.org
National coalition for academic service learning www.seanetonline.org/
Education northwest: creating strong schools and communities educationnorthwest.org/
Wisconsin department of public instructions dpi.wi.gov/fscp/
National youth leadership council www.nylc.org/
Taking in global www.tigweb.org
Clearing magazine: a resource for community-based environmental literacy education clearingmagazine.org/