The Importance of CAS in the International Baccalaureate Program & Beyond

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a globally recognized educational qualification. Its mission is to “develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.” In order to achieve this, the IB uses various tools to help students grow, for example Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and CAS Projects (Creativity, Activity and Service).

What does CAS mean for the IB diploma?

CAS is a core part of the IB Diploma alongside the academic studies. Students are asked to complete activities, which touch upon the notion of Creativity, Activity and Service, whilst showing evidence of achieving the 7 Learning Outcomes for CAS.

  1. Creativity – The arts and other experiences that evoke creative thinking
  2. Activity – Physical exertion contributing to positive and healthy lifestyle
  3. Service – A voluntary and unpaid experience that has a learning benefit for the student

These projects should reflect initiative, demonstrate perseverance, a challenge and develop skills such as collaboration, problem solving and decision-making. CAS allows students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development through a practical, hands-on experience, rather than solely focusing on education inside the classroom. Thoughtful consideration in the form of planning, reflecting and reporting are fundamental to a successful CAS Project. Students are asked to reflect on the outcomes of their projects in regards to their learning achievements, contributing towards their personal and professional development. By participating in CAS activities, students become well-rounded young adults.

In order for student development to occur, CAS should always 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

CAS Trips & IB

CAS Trips is founded on the principles and curriculum structure of the IB diploma. Founder Simon Armstrong worked as an ESL, English Language and Literature Teacher, and Coordinator at international schools in Indonesia, Switzerland, Brazil and Canada before settling in Prague, Czech Republic. This foray into the travel and tourism industry, combined with his extensive knowledge of the International Baccalaureate program, alongside his desire to utilize educational travel as a force for good, resulted in the creation of CAS Trips in 2013.

When the United Nations introduced the Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), it was clear to CAS Trips that this easily-accessible model had to be integrated into our business model to quantify and explain global issues to students. By engaging with the UN SDGs, students could learn to understand how their life choices in the present moment will already have an effect on the next generation. Today, each CAS Trip includes an average of eight UN SDGs per destination, allowing students to learn and cooperate together.

CAS Trips creates itineraries based tailored to IB curriculum through an in-depth understanding of the IB program, CAS Projects and the IB Learner Profile. Students that travel with CAS Trips embark on a Changemakers Challenge – a long-term collaborative project that incorporates the UN SDGs and can have a positive impact on the community back home. Traveling to different destinations across the globe, students are encouraged to develop an idea that creates positive change. With the help of the tour guides, customized tools and frameworks, they are able to continue their project in their home community even after their travels have ended.

Beyond CAS

With the introduction of CAS Projects, the IB has taken another big step towards creating young leaders. CAS Trips emphasizes this during throughout their programs and ensures that challenges, such as the Changemakers Challenge and their unique Service Challenges, engage students to continue their social work beyond mandatory curriculum requirements. Not only does CAS help students become more interculturally aware, it also helps students put their knowledge into action and see the potential effects of their projects. In addition, students who engage in extracurricular activities also benefit when applying to universities or colleges. The process of building global-minded young adults through experiential learning is a progressive educational model, which will have a positive impact on the individual and, hopefully, the world for years to come.

Not an IB School?

Not a problem – any school with an interest in expanding students’ horizons outside of the classroom can consider CAS Trips as a tour operator. The itineraries can be customized to your educational and cultural needs. With the implementation of the UN SDGs in every destination, students are guaranteed to benefit from a CAS Trips adventure.

Contact us today and let us create a tailored itinerary for your school and curriculum.

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