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Why Service Learning Matters

21 November 2014

A Conversation with Cathy Berger Kaye

  • Workshop at Regents International School Pattaya

On Wednesday November 12th a small but appreciative group of parents had the chance to meet with, learn from and talk to Cathy Berger Kaye, a US-based international educational consultant who specialises in advising schools on how to successfully implement a robust service learning programme. In Cathy’s words, service learning is, “using what we learn in the classroom to make a positive difference in the world.”

Cathy highly recommends service learning as a very beneficial whole family activity. She maintains that children seeing their parents in different roles, stepping out of their own comfort zones is a powerful learning experience for all. Cathy is also passionate about the power of literature and how parents can use books on topics of interest to their families to learn from and to apply to service learning.

Not only did parents benefit from Cathy’s presence in school last week but so did students and staff. We all admired not only Cathy’s expertise in this area but also her endless well of energy and enthusiasm which was very motivating for all with whom she interacted. As a staff we will be reviewing our approach to service learning to make it firstly more child-centred and secondly to apply the learning aspects of service more effectively across the curriculum. As a Round Square school the ethos of service is one with which we all readily identify and an area in which we would like to continue to grow and develop.

One of Cathy’s favourite quotes is one which I think would resonate with us all: "Education of the mind without education of the heart is not education." Aristotle

Nonie Adams, Head of Primary at Regents International School Pattaya