Principled Action

An IB education values the world as the broadest context for learning. Through the conceptual nature of our curriculum set within global contexts, as MYP teachers it is our responsibility and privilege to ensure that all classroom learning is relevant beyond the classroom. A challenge, yes, but crucial to our role as IB educators.

A significant aspect of this relevant and empowering learning is principled action as a result of learning.

Principled Action is both about being (noun) and doing (verb).

Principled: We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.

Action: Being and Doing. Students reflect on how their learning has changed them and helped them grow as a person. Students reflect on what action they can take as a result of learning and then put this action into effect.

An example of this is from a recent Year 8 Language and Literature lesson where students inquired further into the statement of inquiry: We connect with characters that allow us to better understand ourselves and others. In this lesson students explored how authors use language skills and literary conventions to create connections and develop characterization through plot and structure. The short animation film, Alike, as a stimulus to initiate creative and reflective thinking. In the last 5-minutes of the lesson, students took time to reflect on what principled action they can take as a result of the inquiry in the classroom that day.

Some of their responses:

  • My principled action is about who I am becoming. I am going to be less judgmental of people because everyone has a back story. When people act strangely maybe they are having a negative flashback.
  • My principled action is about who I am becoming. I’m going to take time to appreciate the now as life is not always positive, sometimes we have negative times.
  • Take time to appreciate what we have and don’t take it for granted. Don’t just focus on the bad things in life and take notice of the good things more often. Accept everyone!
  • My principled action is about what I will do. The people around us could really have an impact on our mood, so we have to try and stay positive so we don’t make a bad impact on other people.
  • My principled action is about who I am. I believe that society wants everyone to be the same and it doesn’t accept difference. I will continue to be kind and accept different people.
  • My principled action is about I will do. I am going to take risks by talking to people who are different from me.
  • My principled action is about who I am. The people around us are often forced to act one way and not instead of how they want. We should take pride in what we want to be, instead of letting others around us influence us differently.

Taking just 5-minutes to ponder and reflect on learning, not only helps students develop their ATL reflection skills and can also empowers students to express how they are becoming their own unique person.

Take the time to pause throughout your lesson or at the end of a lesson to allow students to think deeply about the principled action they can initiate as a result of learning. This is one way in which we can ensure our classrooms can truly inspire our students to put the IB mission statement into action.


Classroom Visuals used to promote thinking about principled action.



Further questions from the PYP action questions that we can employ in our MYP classrooms. 


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