Service-Learning as a Vehicle for Youth Leadership: The Case of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Chan, Stephen C. F.; Ngai, Grace; Yau, Jenny; Yuen, Walter W.; Shek, Daniel T. L.; Au, Helena S. S.


Volume Issue Pages DOI / ISBN / ISSN
12 19-31 DOI: 10.1007/978-981-13-0448-4_2


Language Country
English Other


At PolyU, we instituted service-learning as an effective experiential pedagogy to nurture social responsibility which is also strongly related to youth leadership, leading ultimately to improvements in the quality of life of the students themselves, as well as the communities that they serve. While designing an effective program to integrate service-learning into our undergraduate academic programs, we aim to address the well-known motivational needs of human behavior: autonomy, competence, and relatedness, as well as the desirable qualities of leadership and global outlook. We have also taken into consideration the specific cultural characteristics of higher education in Hong Kong. The result is an academic service-learning program which is compulsory yet includes a wide selection of subjects, structured instructions balanced with student-based learning, challenging as well as meaningful service projects, and a growing set of boundary-crossing, international projects in far away radically different cultures. This chapter discusses the design of the program in some details.


Autonomy; Competence; Relatedness; Leadership; Boundary-crossing; Self-determination theory

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