Singapore University of Social Sciences

Overview of Service-Learning

Applications Open: To be confirmed

Applications Close: To be confirmed

Next Available Intake: To be confirmed

Schemes: Lifelong Learning Credit (L2C)

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: To be confirmed

Area of Interest: To be confirmed


GSP501 Overview of Service-Learning provides a broad perspective on the pedagogy of service-learning and its development globally. The course begins by situating the development of service-learning in Singapore within the broader historical context of how service-learning developed in North America and globally. Service-learning was first articulated as a concept to describe the combining of community service experience with “conscious educational growth” in the late 1960s. Since then, its practice has proliferated across post-secondary and secondary education in North America and more recently around the world. Thus, the concept is still new, with definitions and core principles fiercely debated. This course covers service-learning’s evolving definitions, theories, purposes, principles and practices in a variety of national and cultural contexts. This course includes three full consecutive days of face-to-face course time with the principal instructor.

Level: 5
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every semester
E-Learning: BLENDED - Learning is done MAINLY online using interactive study materials in MyUniSIM. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. This is supplemented with SOME face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, this will be administered on-campus.


  • Theoretical concepts and definitions of academic and co-curricular service-learning.
  • Overview of service-learning history and development in the United States, globally, in Singapore and in Asia.
  • Virtues, values, principles and varied practices of service-learning in diverse institutional contexts.
  • Service-learning policy contexts in Singapore: education (primary, secondary, pre-tertiary, institutions of higher learning, Ministry of Education), youth development (National Youth Council), community services, civil society, national and international.

Learning Outcome

  • Evaluate the history, theoretical concepts and definitions of service-learning and its varied practices in diverse geographical, cultural and institutional contexts.
  • Appraise service-learning as a pedagogy that promotes student learning and development while simultaneously serving community needs.
  • Assess elements that should be present in service-learning to ensure positive outcomes for all who are involved.
  • Prioritise the knowledge, skills and other resources needed to coordinate and facilitate service-learning programmes.
  • Critique service-learning-related policies that guide practice in Singapore and propose recommendations for improvement.
  • Compare and evaluate local service-learning programmes and resources.
  • Construct a vision of the student’s place in the local service sector landscape.
  • Design a list of useful resources (books, journals, programmes, organisations, websites, etc.) related to learning about service-learning which students know of or have access to, to be shared with colleagues.
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