Students studying to become primary school teachers stand up for the common good and apply not only their knowledge at it but also their personal skills in social institutions.
The project is determined by inclusion – The students get to know new fields and gain experience in areas (outside of school) with which they have not yet had any contact. This opens up perspectives for a diversity of conditions of lives.
This experience is a wonderful addition to their studies and helps them to become an inclusion-oriented view. The students analyse them on the basis of theory, reflect and discuss them in the group, whereby they understand and recognize pedagogical content.
The project is implemented by the university in close cooperation with the local volunteer centre (ULF – Unabhängiges LandesFreiwilligenzentrum).
It is firmly anchored in the curriculum of education as a primary school teacher:
In the first semester of their studies, students come into contact with the project for the first time. At the event “L.E.V.-Marketplace”, short impulse lectures by experts from the social sector will give an overview of the variety of topics (e.g.: poverty, migration, gender, human rights, and more.). In addition, the students will get in direct contact with representatives from social institutions at a fair and exchange ideas with them.
In the fourth semester, students have the opportunity to become involved in a social institution or association through community service. After an introductory workshop, each student chooses an individual area in which he/she would like to get to know better and selects a social institution or an association in which he/she would like to get involved. There are only two restrictions: The community service has to be predominately in direct contact with people and must not take place in a school. The volunteer centre supports the students in finding a suitable institution or association and accompanies them during their community service. The students commit themselves for at least 50 hours in an institution. During the semester, courses are held at the university, in which the commitment is reflected and supplemented with theoretical discussions on the topic. An interdisciplinary dialogue takes place that challenges both the students as well as their teachers.
The hours for the commitment are not fixed in the timetable, but are agreed individually between each student and the social institution. In this way, the flexibility of the commitment is guaranteed.
At the end of the semester, there is a presentation in which each student presents what he/she has done and what he/she has learned personally. In this way the students can learn a lot from each other.
Sometimes the students get so involved with the social institution, that they choose to continue their community service even after their requested 50 hours of service are done.
Institution: Private University of Education, Diocese of Linz
# of students: 120
Interaction with beneficiaries: Face-to-face
Academic Degree: Undergraduate
Community Service Area & ODS: Quality Education