Service-Learning Day 2011 - Journeys of the Heart

Service-Learning Day 2011 - Journeys of the Heart

Wednesday, 09 February 2011

Service-Learning Day will be held at the National Institute of Education (NIE), Singapore on 9 February 2011. Gracing the event is Ms Kok Lee Kwang, Deputy Director, Aesthetics, Health & Moral Education Branch, Curriculum Planning & Development Division, from the Ministry of Education.

Service-Learning Day showcases the dedication, creativity, and the learn-and-serve spirit of student teachers and staff facilitators of NIE. There will be 101 groups of student teachers showcasing their completed Group Endeavors in Service Learning (GESL) projects. GESL is a compulsory service-learning project for all first year student teachers and it has been an integral part of NIE’s initial teacher preparation education programmes since 2005.

GESL is an experiential learning experience for student teachers to acquire and develop skills in project management, self and team development, and community service. Through these projects, student teachers acquire the background knowledge and skills in service learning, community involvement projects (CIP) and project work (PW) thus broadening their overall teacher preparation educational experience.

It will also provide them the background and experience to eventually take on leadership roles in their school's community involvement, service-learning projects and academic work.

The type of community projects undertaken are decided by the GESL groups through their own decision-making process and resources. Each group performs a needs analysis with an organisation or community to ascertain the nature and scope of the project. Both service and learning objectives will be determined before the group start on their project.

GESL Projects provide student teachers with a medium to:

  • understand themselves better through the process of mutual teamwork
  • understand each other across ethnic, religious affiliations and gender differences
  • develop collaborative teamwork skills related to project planning and execution
  • develop and exercise situational leadership skills
  • encourage innovation and creativity under conditions of resource and time constraints
  • encourage educational and social entrepreneurship in the form of understanding and meeting community needs
  • develop and understand project management skills
  • acquire a framework for group project work that may be applied in schools

The list of notable projects and the programme for the day are enclosed in Annexes A and B respectively.