Action in times of crisis

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This resource provides teachers with a framework to support informed, responsible and responsive action in times of crisis.

It is primarily aimed at students aged 16 to 19. However, anyone with an interest in taking action locally and globally may find the framework helpful. A resource aimed at younger students is also available: “Taking action: locally and globally – Guiding learner action in response to crises”. 

Taking action is a central component in all IB programmes. It reflects a focus on moving beyond awareness and understanding to engagement, action and bringing about positive change to contribute to a more peaceful and sustainable world for everyone. 

Responsible action is: 

  • driven by compassion and a sense of responsibility toward each other and the planet 
  • informed by an understanding of the complex and systemic nature of crises 
  • grounded in dialogue and reciprocity, mindful of context, and carried out with integrity. 

General considerations for schools  

Learning through crisis

  • Is any form of action appropriate and safe in the context?
  • Is the safety and well-being of students or other members of the school community endangered by taking action?
  • What might action look like when experiencing a crisis that may pose immediate demands for survival?
  • Are there systems, structures, and infrastructures to support action through crisis?

Learning about crisis

  • What resources and support systems are in place to help students analyze and evaluate the situation, and understand the complexities of the underlying issues?
  • Are there members of the school community who are directly/indirectly affected by the crisis?
  • How can action be planned, carried out and reflected upon in a sensitive and compassionate way, with consideration of the different personal circumstances, perspectives, and relationships?
  • What are local attitudes to the crisis in the historical context of other local and global crises that need to be considered and evaluated when planning and taking action?


  • How can the school community connect with what they already know and what might be helpful to know about the region and people affected by the crisis?
  • What resources are available to help the school community understand the crisis and determine appropriate action?
  • Has student and staff well-being been considered in the planning and implementation of action in times of crisis?