Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Successful inquiry leads to responsible action

Action is one of the five essential elements of the PYP written curriculum and it is often one of the hardest for teachers new to the PYP to get to grips with.  The action may extend the learning, or it may have a wider social impact.  Making the PYP Happen states:

PYP schools can and should meet the challenge of offering all learners the opportunity and the power to choose to act; to decide on their actions; and to reflect on these actions in order to make a difference in and to the world.

Often the end of a unit of inquiry is quite fast-paced.  We know we need to move onto the next unit at a certain time and sometimes there is only a little time for reflection.  However it's important for students to think about what they have learned and what they will carry forward from the learning.  If we believe that something is worthy of study, then it should make a difference in students' lives - they should be able to do something with this information so that it moves from "school-knowledge" to being part of them and their lives.  Even very young children often reflect on what they want to do differently in school or at home as a result of their inquiries, and their actions can demonstrate their growing sense of respect and responsibility for themselves and others.  Making the PYP Happen goes on to state:

The actions that the students choose to take as a result of the learning may be considered the most significant summative assessment of the efficacy of the programme.
This is because the actions students choose to take are often the way they demonstrate the attributes of the learner profile and the attitudes we are aiming to develop.

Photo Credit:  Liquid dream by Giovanni Orlando 

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