After long discussions about what action is, and what action isn't, with different teachers who all work in similar or the same PYP setting as me, I have come to some conclusions ... for now anyway!
Action isn't always something big.
Sometimes it is small, like changing how you think, or making subtle changes in behavior, or telling someone else something we've learned that we think is really important.
Sometimes it is a bit bigger, like making a poster, or creating a survey to find out peoples opinions or arranging a bake sale to raise funds to help an identified cause.
Of course there is always the action that is BIG, noticeable and WOW!
The IB believes that a “successful inquiry will lead to responsible action, initiated by the students as a result of the learning process. This action will extend the student’s learning, or it may have a wider social impact, and will clearly look different within each age range.” Resource: Making the PYP Happen'
There is a lot to think about in those two sentences.
'action should be initiated by the student' AND 'action should come as a result of the learning process'
If action is a part of who we are and if we want to change the world we need to start with changing ourselves. But sometimes change can be hard.
How do we make changes to the way we think, so we can help our students, to make changes to the way they think, so they can change the world?
Personalising action and understanding that action is not a mandate from a teacher, is a mindset that our students develop when they have ownership of learning. Supporting students as they begin their journey to become 'agents of change' is what we strive to do in our classrooms everyday.
Action can be powerful when students have motivation, knowledge, skills and understanding to undertake sustained challenges. Authentic action doesn't just happen, students need time, time to think, to imagine, to talk, to share, to create and to think some more.
Does action have to be seen by a teacher for it to be valuable?... Does it need to directly connect to the unit of inquiry to be considered relevant?
The challenge remains . . . How do we recognise student initiated action and understand the motivation that drives the student while at the same time acknowledge the connection to the learning process, without turning into a 'teacher pleasing' event.
Teaching in an IBPYP school; interests: student agency, technology integration, growth mindset & the continuous cycle of improvement that is the world of education, learning and being!