Volunteering and the Australian Curriculum

This project has been undertaken by Volunteering ACT on behalf of Volunteering Australia. Here you will find a set of lessons and units of work that can be used by teachers in Foundation-Year 10 classrooms across Australia.

The resources show how principles and practices in volunteering can be embedded into everyday classroom activity.

If you are a teacher these resources can assist you to explicitly plan for and deliver learning about volunteering.

If you are a volunteer resource centre these documents can be used to assist in your interactions with schools.

We know that if a pattern of volunteering is established early in life it can maintain forever, and that for many children who do not have families involved in volunteering, school is a key place that can expose them to the benefits of a culture of giving.

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Of all the strategies I have observed in the implementation of values education, the single most transformational strategy is when students are allowed opportunities to be something for others – to give. Giving to others makes for meaningful happiness, which is higher and more stable than pleasurable happiness (e.g. eating ice creams or playing video games). Worldwide, there is now a body of evidence showing that service to others is a strong predictor of increased mental and physical health into adulthood and reduced adolescent depression and suicide risk.

Nielsen, Thomas William. Teaching care and wellbeing. Canberra Times October 4, 2010