The Service and Action Continuum
Stages of Service Learning

The guiding process with five stages of service learning, developed by Cathryn Berger Kaye in The Complete Guide to Service Learning (2010), is the foundation for MYP project objectives and assessment criteria. The following stages, illustrated in figure 4, provide a useful framework to develop the attributes of the learner profile. The fifth and final stage is “demonstration”, which in MYP projects is the presentation or report.

  • Investigation involves taking an inventory of student interests, skills and talents to be used in considering opportunities. This analysis requires gathering information about the identified need through action research that includes use of varied approaches: media, interviews of experts, survey of varied populations, and direct observation/ personal experiences.

  • Preparation involves the student planning the service experience with clarification of roles, responsibilities, actions to be taken, resources required and timelines, while acquiring any skills needed to successfully carry the plan to completion.

  • Action involves implementing the plan. Students may work individually, with student partners, in student groups or with others.

  • Reflection involves students describing what happened, expressing feelings, generating ideas and asking questions. Reflection occurs intermittently and in summation to gauge understanding and synthesis, to assist with revising and rethinking plans, and to internalize the experience.

  • Demonstration involves metacognition, with students making explicit what and how they learned and what they have accomplished, capturing the totality of the experience. Integration of technology is encouraged.

What is Action?
  • Learning by doing

  • Enhancing learning about self

  • Students acquiring better understanding of the context and their responsibilities.

Principled Action is:

  • Responsible choices pertaining to self and others (For example: not wasting food/ water/electricity; not swearing; standing up for certain issues)

  • Sometimes includes decisions to not act (Is the action ethical? How will the decision affect others? Have all sides of the issue been examined?)

Through principled action students become empowered to:

  • Make responsible choices

  • Take positive or thought action

Action may involve students in: 

  • Feeling empathy

  • Making small scale changes to behavior

  • Undertaking significant projects

  • Acting on their own

  • Acting collaboratively

  • Taking physical action

  • Suggesting modifications to existing system

  • Lobbying people in more influential positions to act

What is Service?
  • Service is a subset of action .

  • Collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need 

For action to become service,

it needs to contain one or more of the following:

  • Direct service: Students have interaction that involves people, the environment or animals. Examples include one-on-one tutoring, developing a garden alongside refugees, or teaching dogs behaviors to prepare them for adoption.

  • Indirect service: Though students do not see the recipients during indirect service, they have verified that their actions will benefit the community or environment. Examples include redesigning an organization’s website, writing original picture books to teach a language, or raising fish to restore a stream.

  • Advocacy: Students speak on behalf of a cause or concern to promote action on an issue of public interest. Examples include initiating an awareness campaign on hunger in the community, performing a play on replacing bullying with respect, or creating a video on sustainable water solutions. 

  • Research: Students collect information through varied sources, analyze data and report on a topic of importance to influence policy or practice. Examples include conducting environmental surveys to influence their school, contributing to a study of animal migration patterns, or compiling the most effective means to reduce litter in public spaces.

For more information on Taipei Kuei Shan School's Service and Action Guide, Kindly download the handbook below