The Future of Global Service-Learning

May 12, 2020
The Future of Global Service-Learning

SERVICE-LEARNING: A Pathway for Engaging Student Action on Global Issues or for Perpetuating Inequity?

The Global Education Benchmark Group (GEBG) embraces student action as an essential aspect of global education. We know global education develops the knowledge, skills, and empathic orientation required to understand multiple perspectives and to thrive in increasingly interconnected world systems, and we want our students to become global citizens who act to promote the common good locally, nationally, and internationally. But what does promoting the common good internationally look like? Many schools would point to their long-standing work in international service learning. Yet, many other schools are moving away from service programs abroad over concerns of unintentionally perpetuating dynamics of power and inequity that could shape students’ developing worldviews.

As our field engages more fully with global competency based education, designing all education with articulated and defined student outcomes at the center becomes essential. Can service programs be a key pathway to approach these outcomes or are they an example of antiquated institutions or practices within schools? As with many complex issues within the field of global education, GEBG engages thought leaders from our community in the debate and dialogue required to wrestle not just with the ethics of service learning, but also with the practical “how to” of exemplary school-based models. This dialogue has been ongoing for over a year, facilitated by the Curriculum Committee of the GEBG, and we have pulled together excerpts from this conversation from various perspectives and organizations to engage our wider community in the questions and viewpoints that impact what the future of global service might be in our schools.
Click here to read the full article from GEBG’s Annual Magazine, Interconnected.