Conference on the Service Learning, which took place at the Vienna University of Business and Economics, was also attended by the representatives of humanitarian organizations Genesis Project.
It is about a method of education, for Bosnia and Herzegovina still relatively unknown and a new way of access to education . Service learning or learning through engagement involves the building of children’s competence to perceive and solve problems in the community according to their ability and age. The emphasis is on learning outside the classroom and connecting the knowledge that children need to learn in school with everyday life in the community. Service learning is characterized by a strong link between the content of the curriculum and services that students can offer to the community or a balance of learning and service. The starting point is the need in the community based on which the connection to the curriculum is sought and the students through a series of steps or activities of “learning by doing” learn the content of school subjects. The emphasis is on service that a student provides in the community, and without that we can not talk about service learning. In addition to students and the school staff the indispensable partners for the implementation of the activities are parents, various formal and informal community groups and private businesses.
The world’s leading experts in this field, such as representatives of the CLAYSS organisations from Argentina talked about this method of learning during the conference.
In Vienna we found out that the method of Service Learning has been successfully used in kindergartens, schools and universities throughout North and South America, the UK, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands for several decades and it was relatively recently launched in Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic and Romania.
The conference was attended by representatives of non-governmental organisations, universities and ministries of education from BiH, Russia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Serbia, Kosovo and Moldova.
As a highly effective and proven method of educating children and young people, service learning should certainly find its way to school and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we will certainly convey our knowledge of this method to all interested parties.