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Sustained student action in the PYP: A multi-staged action research project

Tosca Killoran, Jeff Hoffart, Adam Bourret


The purpose of this study was to examine authentic student-generated action within an IB school. The study aimed to examine and reflect on action as part of the planned, taught and assessed curricula. The study was conducted at an international school in Germany using an iterative process of data collection on a convenience sample of 36 PYP students and 7 PYP teachers. Reflective analysis of the data collected contributed to the final understanding of sustained action within the learning community. Instruments that included qualitative surveys, checklists and reflective journaling were used to collect data specific to the various research sub-questions. We determined a need for a definition of action and discovered that students’ action was rudimentary and required more support – in the form of an action phase document and explicitly taught skills – in order for it to be sustainable. Furthermore, we developed a resource website that supported teachers in fostering student-led sustainable action. Future research could entail whole-school data collection inclusive of the MYP and DP programmes in order to develop a cohesive definition, philosophy and curricula that support sustainable action at the school.


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Primary Years Program; Student Action; TEDx, Action Research, Curriculum Development; Phase Document

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