Fostering Transformational Thinking In Year 11 Boys Through Service-Learning

  • Adaptability (2017-18)

In July 2017, twenty-seven Year 11 boys undertook a service-learning trip to Cambodia, partnering with Habitat for Humanity, constructing houses for impoverished families. While the school had engaged in this service work in previous years, I was concerned that boys may have developed a patronising view of those living in poverty.

To redress this potentially problematic world-view, boys took part in eleven 75-minute pre-service learning sessions with the aim of deepening their critical engagement with ideas of poverty and helping. I wanted to explore the extent to which a service-learning program for Year 11 boys might foster transformational learning. The sessions included lessons on the core values of service-learning. During the trip, boys were guided through formal reflection activities, linking their experiences with the pre-taught values.