Service learning is an educational experience in which students work collaboratively with a community, using their discipline or course knowledge to meet identified community needs. By working in real-world contexts and reflecting on their experiences, students broaden their discipline knowledge and develop generic graduate capabilities such as communication, critical thinking and teamwork (adaptedfrom Bringle & Hatcher, 2009, p. 38).
Service learning with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities provides students with opportunities to learn about traditional culture and knowledge. It also enables them to better understand themselves in the context of their own culture and its practices. Employers are increasingly seeking graduates with more than just discipline knowledge; they want employees with initiative and excellent communication skills including the ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds in complex work settings. For students, service learning in communities different from their own provides the context for this learning to occur.
Figure 1: Service Learning with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities
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