Service-Learning - preparing students for leadership

Year: 2007

Author: Lavery, Shane

Type of paper: Refereed paper

This paper explores ways in which participating in a service-learning program can enhance student leadership in secondary students. The research is based on the perceptions of teachers who coordinate service-learning in ten Catholic secondary schools in Western Australia. The paper initially examines literature on student leadership, servant leadership and service-learning. The research methodology is then summarized, in particular, the rationale for using Catholic schools, an indication of the range of schools involved, and an outline of the questionnaire. Teacher perceptions are considered, initially in the contexts of the Structure of Service-Learning and Rationale for Service-Learning. This is followed by teacher perceptions on how service-learning develops student leadership, along with specific cases which illustrate this development. Finally, the paper looks at implications for improving student leadership in schools, especially given the fact that the Department of Education and Training in Western Australia has this year begun to introduce community service as part of the school curriculum.