Citizenship education through service learning: From charity to social justice

Yan Wing LEUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


In Hong Kong classrooms, “chalk and talk” is the most common teaching approach. Experiential learning, like service learning, is traditionally considered as some kind of extracurricular activities and as charity to the unprivileged. It is seldom linked to learning and public policy. With the introduction of the curriculum reform document Learning to Learn (Curriculum Development Council, 2001), service learning was recommended as a strategy for civic education. Nevertheless the focus is still on service or charity. As a pilot study, this article explores, by case study of a voluntary service team of a secondary school, how a community service activity was transformed into a social advocacy campaign. The service started with a focus on cleaning a beach near the electric power station in Lung Kwu Tan in Tuen Mun, but ended up with a signature campaign in the school against the government policy of building an incinerator in the community. From the study, evidence has been found that service learning with a focus on social justice could have positive impact on the personal, interpersonal, and active citizenship development of students. In addition, some elements for effective practice of service learning were also identified. Copyright © 2003 The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-115
JournalEducation Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003


Leung, Y.-W. (2003). Citizenship education through service learning: From charity to social justice. Education Journal, 31(1), 95-115.


  • Alt. title: 公民教育中的服務學習:從慈善到社會公義


Dive into the research topics of 'Citizenship education through service learning: From charity to social justice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.