Service As Action in the MYP

Service and Action in the MYP

Action (learning by doing and experiencing) is a key component in constructivist models of education, including the kind of teaching and learning common to all IB programmes. Service, as a subset of action, has always been a shared value of the IB community. 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.

Service requires that students are able to build authentic connections between what they learn in the classroom and what they encounter in the community. When connected to classroom learning, the experience of service offers opportunities to apply concepts, both skills and knowledge, as students explore the community in its complexity, gain personal insight, develop existing and new skills, and grow in confidence and responsibility as they become “actors” in the “real world” beyond school. Teachers in our school engage students in applying subject matter to developing plans and partnerships to meet real identified needs using a service learning model. Experiencing a service learning approach within an academic class becomes a critical and essential process for students.

Guided or classroom learning that leads to action addressing an authentic community need is most meaningful when allowing for student initiative that incorporates their interests, skills and talents.

By reflecting on their service experience, students may gain a greater awareness of the community and world they live in, and their role and responsibility in improving the lives of themselves and others.

Service For and With Others

Service activities should evolve beyond simply doing for others to engaging with others in a shared commitment towards the common good. 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.

MYP Learning Outcomes for Service

With appropriate guidance and support, MYP students should, through their engagement with service as action:

  • become more aware of their own strengths and areas for growth
  • undertake challenges that develop new skills
  • discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities
  • persevere in action
  • work collaboratively with others
  • develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding
  • consider the ethical implications of their actions.

Fulfillment of the school’s expectations for service as action is a requirement of the ISPP MYP Certificate.

(Adapted from International Baccalaureate’s Middle Years Programme MYP: From principles into practice, 2014.)