Strand 4: Taking Action

Learning outcomes

  Students should be able to…




Identify a diverse range of tactics used by social movements to work towards social justice and sustainability in different parts of the world including popular education, lobbying, direct action, boycott, civil disobedience and creative arts.
TA2 Identify practical skills needed for sustainable living now and in the future.


Contribute to decision-making to create a democratic ‘group agreement’ for my class or my action group, and participate in different models of decision making (including majority voting and consensus decision-making).
TA4 Facilitate non-hierarchical meetings and group work on a basis of equality.
TA5 Design communication for different audiences; including families,  school, local community members and online communities.
TA6 Demonstrate at least two new practical sustainability skills I have acquired in collaboration with others.
TA7 Design and conduct collective action in groups that addresses a root cause of a local / global sustainability issue (this includes demonstrating a specific skill needed to carry out the action).


Discuss examples of practical and political actions, including actions by young people, that have tackled root causes of injustice or unsustainability in my community or my world.
TA9 Discuss, with evidence from actions in different parts the world, the benefits of collective action over an individual approach to social change.

Key concepts

Group agreement, facilitation, voting, consensus decision-making, equality, hierarchy/non-hierarchy, individual action vs. collective action, practical sustainability skills (e.g. growing food), practical action (e.g. setting up a school garden), political action (e.g. running a campaign to change a policy), participation, social movement, aims, tactics, popular education, lobbying, arts (e.g. theatre, visual art, music, poetry, literature), civil disobedience, direct action, non-violent direct action, boycott, activist art, street theatre, community activism, reflection and evaluation.

Suggested activities

  • Design and create a visual timeline of social movements in Ireland’s history, identifying example of different tactics that can be used to make changes in society.
  • Brainstorm action ideas using creative methods (e.g. Amnesty Empty your Brain activity) and support students to practice these methods when developing their own idea for their sustainability action project in small groups.
  • Students discuss and agree by consensus a group agreement aimed at helping their student action group work together effectively.
  • Role play meetings using scenarios and role cards, allowing different students to practice facilitation in small groups, include some role cards designed to illuminate behaviours that can help or hinder group decision making.

Suggested resources

  • Seeds for Change Facilitation, Consensus Decision-making and campaign skills resources

  • Examples of action projects linking schools and communities –


Suggested organizations

Local arts centres

Local artists / artist collectives

People and Planet –

Seeds for Change –