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Creativity, Action, Service
Creativity, Action, Service

The nature of creativity, action, service

                           ...if you believe in something, you must not just think or talk or write, but must act.

                                                                                                                                                        Peterson (2003)

Creativity, action, service (CAS) is at the heart of the Diploma Programme.  It is one of the three essential elements in every student's Diploma Programme experience.  It involves students in a range of activites alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Programme.  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 Programme.

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.


Within the Diploma Programme, CAS provides the main opportunity to develop many of the attributes describes 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:

  • 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.

Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes are differentiated from assessment objectives because they are not rated on a scale. The completion decision for the school in relation to each student is, simply, “Have these outcomes been achieved?”

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

  • increased their awareness of their own strengths and areas for growth - They are able to see themselves as individuals with various skills and abilities, some more developed than others, and understand that they can make choices about how they wish to move forward.
    • Undertaken new challenges - A new challenge may be an unfamiliar activity, or an extension to an existing one.
    • planned and initiated activities - Planning and initiation will often be in collaboration with others. It can be shown in activities that are part of larger projects, for example, ongoing school activities in the local community, as well as insmall student-led activities.
    • worked collaboratively with others - Collaboration can be shown in many different activities, such as team sports, playing music in a band, or helping in a kindergarten. At least one project, involving collaboration and the integration of at least two of creativity, action and service, is required.
    • shown perseverance and commitment in their activities - At a minimum, this implies attending regularly and accepting a share of the responsibility for dealing with problems that arise in the course of activities.
    • engaged with issues of global importance - Students may be involved in international projects but there are many global issues that can be acted upon locally or nationally (for example, environmental concerns, caring for the elderly).
    • considered the ethical implications of their actions - Ethical decisions arise in almost any CAS activity (for example, on the sports field, in musical composition, in relationships with others involved in service activities). Evidence of thinking about ethical issues can be shown in various ways, including journal entries and conversations with CAS advisers.
    • developed new skills - As with new challenges, new skills may be shown in activities that the student has not previously undertaken, or in increased expertise in an established area.

    All eight outcomes must be present for a student 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 emphasizes that it is the quality of a CAS activity (its contribution to the student’s development) that is of most importance. The guideline for the minimum amount of CAS activity is approximately the equivalent of half a day per school week (three to four hours per week), or approximately 150 hours in total, with a reasonable balance between creativity, action and service. “Hourcounting”, however, is not encouraged.






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