IB Programmes » Action Cycle

Action Cycle

Action Cycle: What is it?
  • The PYP action cycle occurs when meaningful action from students takes place as a result of the learning process and as an exhibition of attitudes.
  • Ideally, this action comes from the students themselves. It can be initiated by a thoughtful teacher who asks, "What should we do not that we know about the effect of...?"
What does action look like?
  • Action projects are voluntary, student-initiated activities that stem from a genuine concern and a desire to make a positive difference.
  • Action might take the form of sharing new knowledge with others in order to increase others' awareness of important issues, or it may be a project in response to needs of a particular community-locally or globally.  
  • Effective action does not need to be grandiose. It can begin at the most immediate and basic level: with the self; within the family; within the classroom, the hallways, and the playground.
  • Examples:
    • A student wanting to share with someone what they are learning about
    • A student wanting to go to the library to continue their learning of a particular topic
    • A student writing to their congressman or corporate CEO about an issue that was raised during a unit on Sharing the Planet
    • A child beginning a recycling program at home
    • A child encouraging parents to purchase healthier foods
    • A child learning a new language
  • Action in the PYP can also be deciding not to act, for example if during a unit on health a student realized that a can of Coke with dinner is not the best choice and they opt for milk instead.
How do we teach students to take action?
  • By going through the three steps of choosing, acting, and then reflecting back upon the results of their choice, students are able to grow socially and personally, developing skills such as cooperation, problem solving, conflict resolution, and critical thinking.