Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Action in the PYP: Moving Towards the "I Can"

Action is one of the Five Essential Elements of the PYP written curriculum.  Last week I was explaining this to my cousin in England, who is not a teacher, and we were discussing how even very young children can take action following their inquiries.  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.
As the above TEDtalk from Kiran Bir Sethi shows, saying "I can" involves 3 steps - seeing the change (in this case the students felt what it was like to be child labourers), changing themselves and their thinking and then being empowered to lead the change in others.  This process draws on the PYP attitude of empathy (imagining themselves in another's situation in order to understand his or her reasoning and emotions so as to be open-minded and reflective about the perspectives of others) and the attitude of confidence (having the courage to take risks, applying what they have learned and making appropriate decisions and choices).

Then I started reflecting on something I wrote in a post last week.  Rather than saying I can, I actually said I can't.  What I wrote was that, for various reasons, I could not turn the IT around in my current school.  But now I have come to see that I need a different perspective on it.  What I am doing is reacting which is based on my feelings (mostly feeling helpless to change anything).  What I need to do is to respond, which is based not on feeling but on thinking.  Rather than saying "I can't ...." what I need to say instead is "I haven't yet ...."

1 comment:

  1. Maggie, I was at an MTPYPH workshop with you last year. I came across your blog while on a google search for Action PYP and Assessment.
    We are reviewing our assessment policy and are trying to work out how (if?) action can be assessed.
    I would be interested to know if you had any thoughts on the matter.