CAS: Creativity, Action, Service

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The CAS requirement is a fundamental part of the IB Diploma programme and takes seriously the importance of life outside the world of scholarship, providing a refreshing counterbalance to academic studies.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.Mahatma Gandi

Aims of CAS

The CAS programme aims to develop learners who are:

  • reflective thinkers - they understand their own strengths and limitations, identify goals and devise strategies for personal growth;
  • willing to accept new challenges and new roles;
  • aware of themselves as members of communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment;
  • active participants in sustained, collaborative projects;
  • balanced - they enjoy and find significance in a range of activities involving intellectual, physical, creative and emotional experiences.

What does CAS stand for?

CAS involves learners in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Programme. The three strands of CAS, which are often interwoven with particular activities, are characterised as follows:

  • Creativity : arts, and other experiences that involve creative thinking.
  • Action : physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Service : an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student.

CAS enables learners to enhance their personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning.

For many, their CAS activities include experiences that are profound and life changing. Experiential learning lies at the very heart of CAS and involves much more than just the activity itself: planning, acting, observing and reflecting are all crucial in making the experience as valuable as possible.

Learning Outcomes

Experiential learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience.Kolb (1984)

As a result of their CAS experience as a whole, including their reflections, there should be evidence that learners have:

  • increased their awareness of their own strengths and areas for growth;
  • undertaken new challenges;
  • planned and initiated activities;
  • worked collaboratively with others;
  • shown perseverance and commitment in their activities;
  • engaged with issues of global importance;
  • considered the ethical implications of their actions;
  • developed new skills.

All eight outcomes must be present for a learner to complete the CAS requirement. Some may be demonstrated many times, in a variety of activities, but completion requires only that there is some evidence for every outcome. This focus on learning outcomes emphasises that it is the quality of a CAS activity (its contribution to the young person’s development) that is of most importance. The guideline for the minimum amount of CAS activity is approximately three to four hours per week, or approximately 150 hours in total, with a reasonable balance between creativity, action and service. ‘Hour counting’, however, is not encouraged.

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