What is CAS?
Creativity, action, service (CAS) is at the heart of the Diploma Program. It is one of the three essential elements in every student’s Diploma Program experience. It involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Program. The three strands of CAS, which are often interwoven with particular activities, are characterized as follows.
Creativity: arts, and other experiences that involve creative thinking. Action: physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the Diploma Program.
Action: physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the Diploma Program.
Service: an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student. The rights, dignity and autonomy of all those involved are respected.
CAS enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning. At the same time, it provides an important counterbalance to the academic pressures of the rest of the Diploma Program. A good CAS program should be both challenging and enjoyable, a personal journey of self-discovery. Each individual student has a different starting point, and therefore different goals and needs, but for many their CAS activities include experiences that are profound and life changing.
For student development to occur, CAS should involve:
1 real, purposeful activities, with significant outcomes
2 personal challenge—tasks must extend the student and be achievable in scope
3 thoughtful consideration, such as planning, reviewing progress, reporting
4 reflection on outcomes and personal learning.
Within the Diploma Programme, CAS provides the main opportunity to develop many of the attributes described in the IB learner profile. For this reason, the aims of CAS have been written in a form that highlights their connections with the IB learner profile.
The CAS programme aims to develop students who are:
1 reflective thinkers—they understand their own strengths and limitations, identify goals and devise strategies for personal growth.
2 willing to accept new challenges and new roles.
3 aware of themselves as members of communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment.
4 active participants in sustained, collaborative projects.
5 balanced—they enjoy and find significance in a range of activities involving intellectual, physical, creative and emotional experiences.