TOGETHER – Implementing service learning in schools to get digital cultural heritage enhanced

During the past month, the Teacher's Handbook and the Competency Framework for secondary school teachers in the field of humanities were completed, which will guide them in the direction of designing and implementing the teaching inspired by service learning (Service Learning – SL). The initiatives are related to the promotion and digitisation of local cultural heritage in a creative way through digital tools. The manual is a combination of theory and practical examples.

Our teachers from Savremena Gimnazija – Darko Tmušić, Natalija Stanković and Milica Aleksić designed the concept of the Handbook, which is the result of the joint work of partners from Germany, Portugal, Italy and Cyprus, and they led its development.

In the next phase of the project, the Handbook will be transformed into a Digital Creative Online Academy for Teachers.

The Handbook will be an important methodological tool for teachers who want to deal with the concept of SL and will provide full support during the entire process of its implementation – from planning to assessment.

The Digital Academy will be an open online environment that will help secondary school teachers and administrators to put the learning path previously outlined in the Handbook into practice.

The Academy will also be a repository of complementary teaching resources (Toolbox), such as suggestions for teaching activities, project concepts and strategies, templates, assessment sheets and digital resources, delivered in various formats. Gamification elements will also be adopted to improve student engagement.

What is Service Learning

Service Learning (SL) involves connecting learning objectives, students and the real needs of the community and involves transferring learning from classrooms to real life. SL differs from volunteering in that it is not a sporadic phenomenon, but rather a systematic study included in the school's curriculum.

Through the Erasmus+ project "TOGETHER", we started with the needs of the community for the digital promotion of cultural heritage, on the basis of which the connection with the curriculum was then observed. This teaching framework and handbook were successfully implemented by Darko Tmušić, Natalija Stanković, Sanja Bogdanović and Milica Aleksić, our teachers from Savremena Gimnazija, leading other partners through this new methodology which is yet to be created.

Since the service learning programme is characterised by a high transfer of students' knowledge and competencies, we expect that through this methodology our students will learn a lot about their own cultural heritage and, at the same time, help the community (when we say community, we mean the community in which the students live).

  • You can see the Project Newsletter HERE.
  • You can see the Teacher’s Handbook in English HERE.
  • You can see the Teacher’s Handbook in Serbian HERE.
  • You can see the Competency Framework in English HERE.
  • You can see the Competency Framework in Serbian HERE.

I am extremely pleased and proud to be the parent of a Savremena student. During my first encounter with the school management, when I asked about my child’s potential enrolment, I saw how much love, enthusiasm and professionalism you put in your work. I was impressed by your approach, ideas and methods. I couldn’t believe something like this existed in our country! It doesn’t take long to realise that this is a school you would recommend to everyone. Creativity, modern technology, top-quality education, and most of all, the humaneness that can be seen throughout the school, make it truly different and worthy of its name – Savremena Gimnazija. With such an approach, the success of this school and, consequently, our children’s success, is unavoidable. Congratulations! Jelena Đorđević, Andrija’s mum
Contemporary in any sense of the word, our school offers functional knowledge and quality preparation for tertiary education in Serbia and abroad. Implementing modern and creative teaching in the classroom, where the teachers’ pedagogy and students’ performance are aligned with the highest academic standards for the high-school finals, our school develops linguistic, mathematical, scientific, artistic, cultural, technical and ICT competence, which is a prerequisite for further education and professional development. Teaching is supported by the interactive whiteboards and educational software, whereas practice exercises research and critical thinking.