Lang students bring their knowledge to local high schools | Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics

Lang students bring their knowledge to local high schools

Posted on Thursday, January 11th, 2024

Four Lang students teaching in a high school classroom.

When planning her fall taxation class, Professor Sonia Dhaliwal wanted to empower her students with tax knowledge so that they could make an impact beyond her classroom. Professor Dhaliwal created an impactful group assignment where students from the Taxation class would visit local high schools to conduct tax literacy workshops and presentations. The project involved learning technical tax concepts in class, preparing, and delivering tax literacy presentations to various levels of high school classes, followed by a reflective writing piece by each student. This allowed Lang students to gain a deeper understanding of the concepts discussed in class and put their learning into action. It also provided an opportunity to give back to the community and be part of a service-based learning initiative.

Professor Dhaliwal said that her vision with this project was to introduce the students to the concept of service-based learning and the impact it can have, not only on their learning outcomes but more importantly on their personal development as young adults.

“The purpose of education, in addition to gaining knowledge and broadening our individual perspectives, should also be to share that knowledge and utilize it for the betterment of others around us, our communities and humanity at large. The feedback from teachers and students alike has been tremendously positive, which speaks to the success of this project. I am thankful to all the students in my Taxation class who embraced this unique and unorthodox project with positivity and zeal.  I hope each one of them is able to see the positive impact they have had on the local community by participating in this service based learning project,” Professor Dhaliwal commented.  

Students had to choose a presentation topic from the broad learning outcomes in their course outline and create an interactive workshop with class engagement activities like short case studies, kahoots, etc. Groups were challenged with thinking about their audience and what is relatable for high school students, what they wished they would’ve learned about tax in high school and share what it is like to be a Lang School student.

Many of the students in Professor Dhaliwal’s class commented on how rewarding this class was and how accomplished they felt after teaching high school students things they wish they had learned when they were younger.  

“Crafting a tax presentation for high school students was a dynamic learning experience that not only refined my communication skills but highlighted the real-world impact of financial decisions. Collaborating with my teammates added depth to our classroom knowledge and skills. Taxation is more than numbers, it's about empowering minds for informed financial decisions. I am excited that we got to contribute to the future leaders in this field,” said Mehar Singh.

“When I was in high school, I had no knowledge of many concepts such as how sales tax works, what a personal tax return was, and what pathways there are for accountants. I would’ve been very grateful and eager to learn if university students came to my school to share this incredibly important information, so it felt like we made a significant impact on the students,” Leah Moses added.

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