Service as Action
Service as action is a key component to the Middle Years Programme: "IB learners strive to be caring members of the community who demonstrate a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment. IB World Schools value service with others as an important way to engage in principled action across a range of overlapping local and global communities" (FPIP 2017). Service learning is the way students can see the meaning of what they learn in the classroom by applying the skills, concepts, and knowledge they have learned in an authentic context, as well as develop their IB learner profile traits.
Service as action builds on what students have learned in the Primary Years Programme and builds toward their personal project in the MYP, as well as CAS (creativity, service, action) in the Diploma Programme.
Service learning is more than just doing something good for others. Rather, "meaningful service requires understanding of an underlying issue such as poverty, literacy or pollution, and authenticating the need for this service. Meaningful service includes interaction, such as building links with individuals or groups in the community. To align with the general principle that the rights, dignity and autonomy of all those involved in service are respected means that identification of needs towards which a service activity will be directed has to involve prior communication and full consultation with the community or individual concerned" (FPI 2017). To this end, just as with other subjects in the MYP, meaningful service learning follows a cycle, as noted below.
Through students' engagement in service learning, they should achieve the following outcomes:
These outcomes are closely related to the IB learner profile traits and ATL skill indicators that students are developing in our classes. They are evident through student reflection prior to, during, and after their service learning activity. It is our responsibility as teachers and a school(s) for planning opportunities for student involvement with the community, both outside of the classroom hours and as meaningful application tied to our curriculum, on both a local and global scale (while we think globally, we are able to act locally).
For more resources to help plan for service learning in your classroom, check out these resources:
Authentic Assessment: Cycles and Service - slideshow from PD on how to use assessment to drive service learning
Authentic Assessment: Teaching Concepts Explicitly - slideshow from PD on how to organize your classroom and assessment for service learning to teach conceptually
Service as Action Reflection - handout to help facilitate reflection after service learning and keep track of student progress toward service outcomes
Service as Action Resources - a list of books and websites to help you start service learning in your classroom
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Service as Action