Service-Learning: Addressing the Head, Heart, and Hand

Service-learning combines academic instruction with community service, and is becoming an increasingly popular means of promoting critical, reflective thinking and civic responsibility among college and university students. With the support of the United Board, Christ University convened a national conference, titled “Service-Learning: An Emerging Experiential Learning Process in India,” on July 6-7. The conference was designed to give Indian educators a platform to exchange experience in developing and implementing service-learning initiatives and build a network for collaboration.

Rev. Dr. Maher Spurgeon, the United Board’s regional consultant for South Asia, delivered the keynote address. In his remarks, he described three H’s for education: a healthy head, a healthy heart, and a healthy hand. Academic excellence leads to a healthy head, character building creates a healthy heart, and service-learning strengthens hands to help the community. The journey of learning, Dr. Spurgeon explained, begins in the head as students develop new knowledge. Through values formation, knowledge reaches the heart, where it creates both passion and compassion. From the heart it moves to the hand, as service is extended to those in need. Service-learning provides another feedback loop. Serving the needy can touch the hearts of young people, and with reflection, this can move people to make policies and innovations to address the issues of the community.

The United Board extends its appreciation to Christ University for its organization of this conference.