Actions Speak Louder Than Words

I was intrigued initially about the word ‘action’ existing as a concept in the IB PYP programme. It is not an aspect that is highlighted as clearly in CfE, so I was interested to find out how we as teachers can create a positive environment in the classroom to encourage this.

When ‘action’ is mentioned, you may generally picture a grand, world-shifting movement. This is particularly relevant now as many will picture Greta Thunberg, the inspirational young girl who spoke out at the UN Climate Action Summit for her strong beliefs in taking immediate action against global warming. Further examples could be joining movements through protests, rallies and direct contact with the adults who make the laws.

However, this is idealism. In classrooms across the world, you will not see a budding activist in each and every one. Most children at that age will not be motivated to take ‘action’ to solve world poverty.

And as future IB practitioners, it’s important to realise that that’s okay.

Through our workshops and my own reading, I have grown to change my perception of the word ‘action’. I have snapped out of picturing Greta Thunberg. I realise that actions can be big and ground-breaking for the local community or even the world, but they can also be just as meaningful on a smaller, personal scale. We should be proud of the pupils we teach because of their ability to recognize a positive action, and understand why this behaviour is encouraged. If pupils can see the positive difference that their actions make in their own small world, we are creating humans who can make a big difference in the future world they will be a part of. The base values for positive ‘action’ should be the building blocks taught in the IB PYP Programme so children can grow into responsible members of society, with their own confident voice.

What action am I going to take to improve my practice? I’m going to take this alternative understanding to the word to ensure pupils are ready to be take action in their society.

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