DEVELOPING PERSONAL REFLECTION AND CAS
Our work in Service Learning originates from our belief that the ultimate goal of all education is to prepare students as responsible citizens of a global society, dedicated to make meaningful and sustainable contributions to develop an integrated, fair and compassionate world order. CAS is a platform to engage students in purposeful action and service to develop abilities to critically think, collaborate, serve and in the process become more courageous, emotionally competent, open minded, with a strong sense of values and ethics.
We believe that to lead requires an individual to have confidence, knowledge, determination and, possibly most important, empathy. The development of such a trait requires students to step out of their comfort zone and experience the world from a different perspective. Service learning is an opportunity for students to apply academic, social, and personal skills to improve the community, be it local or international. Authentic service projects allow students to experience making decisions that have real outcomes, as we'll as interact with the incredible diverse culture India has to offer.
*CAS = "Creativity, Action and Service"
Conceptual Premise: Servant Leadership
Our work in CAS is influenced by the concept of Servant Leadership which sees leadership as an act of choice and directed to serve the people in a fair and just way. Too often service projects lose their essence in application due to the lack of authenticity in their origin. It is our goal to nurture service learning in students so that it becomes part of their character rather than a project completed for school credit. Our team works with individuals in order to help them reflect on the person they are and what social issues matter to their core values. With this information, we can better align service projects for each student group so that impact of service activity resonates with them and follows them beyond their time with Utsaah.
We have identified specific key deliverables that we use to individually design CAS and service learning programs in order to best target specific goals. We custom design all our service oriented curriculum in order to provide a truly authentic experience and maximize personal development.
With a focus on journal writing and reflective practices, we apply the powerful methodology of experiential learning that uses rich experience as a trigger to meaningful development. Participants go through engaging experiences, deep reflection, facilitated dialogues and crystallise learning from well researched conceptual frameworks and tools. Our core process is influenced by the path breaking works of David Kolb, Daniel Goleman, Ronald Heifetz and Martin Seligman, and uses concepts of emotional intelligence, adaptive leadership and positive psychology. The program uses the right mix of high adventure, appropriate context and meaningful service to the community. Through mentorship and guidance, each student develops a spirit of self-discovery as they push themselves beyond their personal limits and share their energies with the community.