What does it mean to ‘take action’ in the PYP exhibition? An inquiry into the experiences of three Latin American schools

Pamela Curtin—Colegio Roosevelt, The American School of Lima (Peru)

This study explores understandings of ‘action’ as well as pedagogical processes leading to action, the implications of taking action and the impact of student action as part of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) Exhibition in three IB schools in Latin America. These actions are examined in terms of action as service and action as a means for student self-actualisation, as students apply what they have learnt through research. Two waves of data were collected to provide initial insights into students’ perspectives at the time of the Exhibition through online surveys (N=102) and subsequent follow-up with students, teachers, mentors and administrators through onsite interviews and focus groups (N=128), offering opportunities for reflection through retrospection and identification of potential enduring understandings. The main issues that emerged reflect the different pedagogical and philosophical approaches and the Exhibition structure in each school. Some systems and interactions promoted student empowerment and active citizenship while others constrained students’ levels of participation. Overall the majority of students felt they were able to take action with varying degrees of success, and findings suggest that the Exhibition research, as well as the action taken, have the potential to impact others.

Executive summary pdf