Jane Goodall explains “Action” pure and simple

“Action” is the most abstract of the PYP Essential Elements. We know it’s there, we know its important, we know its designed to encourage students to do good things… but we so often misinterpret it, forget about it and trivialize it.

Jane Goodall’s quote, below, puts it in the most simple terms. Students (and teachers) need to see how everything they do represents their “actions” and that reflection on what they do helps them to consider the difference – either good or bad – that their actions make. This could range from putting their shoes away when they get home to reaching for a book instead of an iPad to helping a friend with a problem to noticing a child beggar and mentioning it to a parent to… the list goes on.

Our problem, very often, is that we narrow down what “action” means so much that it has little or no value. Are we surprised, then, that so many of our students go through school believing it is a bake sale?

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How do you guide your students towards a sophisticated understanding of Action?

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6 comments

    • sherrattsamm

      Hi Sonya… I remember that post, and I have seen Richard’s “breakdown” of action appear in different guises in a number of places. It may be time for the IB to capture this sort of thinking and formalize it to guide PYP teachers a little more towards creating the conditions for action.

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