More than a template for academic success, the International Baccalaureate Learner Profile encompasses various characteristics that can help young people thrive in all aspects of their lives. Intending to cultivate a particular orientation to the world, the range of capacities and responsibilities detailed in the IB learner profile implies a commitment to bringing about positive change within oneself and the broader community.
Within the IB DP, CAS delivers one of the main opportunities to develop many of the attributes described in the Learner Profile and to experience their benefits first-hand.
Over the coming months, we will be taking a closer look at how different aspects of the profile are cultivated and nurtured by the IB program and its three main components. To begin, we will provide an overview of the 10 umbrella attributes and how CAS contributes to each.
The IB Learner profile aims to develop students who are:
Generating opportunities for inquiry and research is a primary goal of the IB program. Encouraging students’ natural curiosity leads to a sustainable enthusiasm for learning that will continue throughout their lives. All CAS Projects begin with a question and are realized through thoughtful interaction with existing information and theories about the issue.
By allowing students to explore knowledge across a range of disciplines, graduates of the IB DP are empowered to engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance. The 5 Stages of CAS reinforce the power and potential of sharing knowledge and exploring conceptual understanding.
In addition to the critical thinking skills nurtured by Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay, CAS provides opportunities to exercise creative thinking to analyze and take responsible action on complex problems. CAS requires students to carefully consider their project outcomes and make reasoned, ethical decisions when undertaking the service component of their experience.
The emphasis on multicultural experience, international-mindedness, and language acquisition means that IB DP graduates can express themselves confidently and creatively in a variety of ways. The CAS project’s collaborative nature grants students a firsthand appreciation for the importance of listening carefully to other perspectives.
All CAS initiatives are informed by the mission to bolster the dignity and rights of people everywhere. Guided by a sense of fairness and justice, students are encouraged to follow-up on the outcomes of their actions and activities. They are taught to take responsibility for the impact they have on the world around them.
Every time an element of CAS forces students to venture out of their comfort zones, they are broadening their range of viewpoints and learning to appreciate others’ values and traditions. In demonstrating evidence of the 7 Learning Outcomes, students are encouraged to look at their own cultures and personal histories as an opportunity to form connections, not sow division.
In the commitment to service that CAS engenders, students are expected to demonstrate empathy, compassion, and respect. Through active engagement with initiatives like the UN Sustainable Development Goals, students become aware of themselves as community members with responsibilities towards each other and the environment.
The fluid nature of CAS teaches students that different situations require different strategies and that it is ok to try new approaches, make mistakes, and adjust plans accordingly. Encouraged to accept new challenges and new roles, IB learners learn to be resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.
One of the primary aims of CAS is to encourage students to actively pursue individual interests as an essential counterbalance to the academic pressures of the rest of the DP. CAS experiences enable students to find significance in a range of activities involving intellectual, physical, creative, and emotional experiences.
Reflections are a core aspect of IB pedagogy and experiential learning. The emphasis on reflection allows students to consider the world and their own ideas and experiences from numerous perspectives. In coming to understand their strengths and limitations through reflection, students can identify goals and devise strategies for personal growth.