Our membership with IBSC also allows opportunities for staff members to participate in Action Research projects. Mr Duncan Kendall and Ms Elizabeth Smith were the 2018/2019 IBSC Action Research Participants. Over a period of two years, they participated in an Action Research Project of their choosing. The topic of their research was 'The Power of Old Boys' Stories to Develop Character'. They believe that through the storytelling of Old Boys' personal narratives and Year 5 Boys' narratives, meaningful connections could be made for students, with boys deepening their understanding of these qualities and how to enact them.
Four recent Old Boys of the College were chosen to share their personal stories, which richly exemplified one of the
attributes of the ‘Fine Scots Boy’ (Faith, Courage, Compassion or Integrity). The Old Boys were specifically chosen
because of the strength of their personal character and exemplary role modelling for younger students, their age
and the connection their stories had to boy’s interests.
After sharing his personal story in a campus wide context, the Old Boys and Year 5 Boys took part in a ‘fireside chat’,
sharing their personal stories together, debating the attribute, answering questions and together considering how
they could display these attributes in everyday contexts of their own lives. This action was intended to develop a
real-life, meaningful connection to the qualities of a ‘Fine Scots Boy’, thereby developing a rich understanding.
Key findings from the Action Research Project are revealed below:
1. The attributes of a Fine Scots Boy became personalised: They changed from being abstract, to being lived out
in a physical example of the Old Boys.
2. Boys learnt the meaning of the qualities to their own lives and asked for guidance and wisdom from the Old
Boys on how to apply these qualities.
3. Boys could communicate through their own personal stories their understanding, explaining why the
attributes were important and how to apply them to their lives.
4. The ‘fireside chat’ changed the hierarchical structure usually observed in a classroom. The Old Boys and Year 5
students felt it was a shared experience, developing community and camaraderie.