Service-learning is an educational approach that combines learning objectives with community service in order to provide a pragmatic, progressive learning experience while meeting societal needs. UTM has been championing service learning to establish UTM students’ involvement in community partnerships in Malaysia.

Dr Shanti, from Language Academy has been guiding students  social work practitioners. India universities have taken notice of her work in this field and invited her to share her insights on service learning particularly in the area of social work.

Below is her story.

Earlier this year, I was invited by a few universities from India to conduct a series of workshops on Service Learning for the School of Social Work and Public Health staff and postgraduate students. The invitation was triggered by a paper I had presented as a Keynote Speaker at the International Academic and Practitioner Conference ‘Positive Thoughts, Positive Impacts and Positive Social Work: the wherewithal of hope?’ in December 2017, at Kathmandu City, Nepal. The conference was organised in Collaboration with Brisbane Institute of Strength Based Practices, Australia, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal and a host of other agencies from South Asian countries. With speakers and participants from over 13 countries, I felt truly honoured that my paper was pooled into the keynote address category due to its relevance to a wide range of social science disciplines, and in particular to the area of social work. In my paper Service Learning for youth empowerment: Construction of self -identity to facilitate social change, I discussed the multitude of benefits of community service learning to youth and society. More specifically, I focused on how youth engagement in service is related to the construction of an ongoing narrative of self that helps in the construction of their self identity and how this relates to youth empowerment via sustained community engagement.

Feedback from Conference organizers: “Dr Shanti C Sandaran from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, you bring a perspective that our teaching fraternity in social work could utilize. That is precisely the reason you were a keynote. And, you will be again in the next conference of ours which is already underway’, (Dr Venkat Pulla, Strength Based Practice, Australia).

Dr Shanti delivering her keynote speech

Delegates

Final words from Key note speakers

Keynote speakers honored

Author: Dr Shanti Chandran a/p Sandaran

Editor: Nur Hazwani Mohd Muhridza, Nur ‘Ain Mohd Shahroom, Ghazali Bunari, Zaid Shamsuddin