What does learning look like?

The PYP exhibition is the culmination of learning throughout the primary school years. The focus of our exhibition unit this year has been social inequities in the world and the need for action to be taken.

The process unfolded something like this…

  • A powerful provocation to get the learners thinking and feeling what inequity means. 
  • Tuning in activities to pique interest and create tension.
  • An all-day conference with a choice of speakers on social justice issues.
  • Students chose their areas of interest and were divided into groups of 2-4.
  • Each group was assigned a mentor to help them on their journeys of inquiry.
  • Questions were formulated and research began.
  • Lots of reading, searching, synthesising and organising information.
  • Some groups interacted with primary sources via Skype or in person.
  • Students took action by fundraising, visiting organisations, creating awareness.
  • Exploration of the topic through a choice of creative expression workshops in art, music, drama, web design, animation or poetry.
  • Students created movies to express the essence of their learning.
  • The process was recorded through journals, blogging, time-lines, recounts and reflections.
  • Groups considered how best to present and display their learning.
  • Stands were set up in readiness for the exhibition….
…which brings us to today! There was a buzz of excitement in the school as students set up their stands and put the final touches on their presentations. Tomorrow parents, guests and students from lower grades will visit the stands, where students will proudly share their learning.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The exhibition itself is not the point… It’s been a wonderful, meaningful collaboration between teachers and learners. It’s hugely rewarding to see the thinking and learning that has taken place. And we already have ideas for how to make it even better next year…

9 thoughts on “What does learning look like?

  1. Hi Edna
    I love this post and reminds when I used to teach in the upper grades at NIST – now I’ve moved schools and down the road at KIS (In BKK). I’m teaching the little ones – 3-4 year olds for the first time. Have you got any fresh and exciting ideas what inquiry looks like in the EY? My children are just beginning to speak! I guess my biggest frustration is the lack of english and talking… I always appreciate your posts.


  2. I am an elementary education major in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama, United States. In our class we are learning about technology in the classroom and blogging. I have only been doing this for a few short weeks. You can visit my personal blog at Sara Stewart’s blog or our class blog at EDM310 Class Blog. I enjoyed reading your blog posts. They are very informative and I absolutely loved this collaborated effort by these students. It is great to see their enthusiasm and I know a lot of time, effort and creativity was put into this work. For these students to take what they have learned and displayed it the way they have shows their capabilities to think outside the box. I loved it! I will be summarizing my visits to your blog with a post to my blog on October 9th. In the mean time, I look forward to visiting your blog.


  3. Hi Edna,
    Came to your blog through browsing through the PYPchat archives. Love what you are doing here. Can you share with us some of the central ideas that have worked or have not worked best in your experiences with the exhibition?



    1. Hi Derrick,

      We have only done our exhibition in Sharing the Planet, with basically the same CI for a few years. Our goal was to create a broad enough CI so that kids could create their own lines of inquiry or CIs within that, depending on their interests.

      Last year our exhibition CI was
      ‘Developing awareness and understanding of inequity empowers us to act’ which is an improved version of our previous one
      ‘Social inequity creates a need for action in the world’

      By shifting away from the term ‘social inequity’, we created more opportunities for kids to connect with things close to home like bullying and animal cruelty… although others explored a range of areas such as homelessness, water, access to education, disability… etc.

      We also chose to shift away from ‘people taking action in the world’ to how understanding can empower ME to take action…

      Hope this helps!


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