The CAS stages (adapted from Cathryn Berger Kaye’s “five stages of service learning”, 2010) offer a helpful and supportive framework and continuum of process as you consider what you would like to do in CAS, make plans, and carry out your ideas. The CAS stages are applicable to the three strands of creativity, activity, service, and the CAS project.
These CAS stages represent a process and sequence that can assist you in many aspects of you life. They follow a process whereby you investigate an interest that often raises questions and curiosity, prepare by learning more, take some form of action, reflect on what you have done along the way, and demonstrate you understandings and the process. By applying these stages to CAS, you have a reliable yet flexible structure you can then apply to future situations with confidence.
There are two parts as noted in the diagram. The center represents the process with four key parts: investigation , preparation, action, and reflection (occurring intermittently in response to significant experiences). The outer circle has two parts and guides you in summarizing you experience: reflection and demonstration.
The five CAS stages are as follows.
- Investigation: Identify your interests, skills and talents to be used in considering opportunities for CAS experiences, as well as areas for personal growth and development. Investigate what you want to do and determine the purpose for your CAS experience. In the case of service, identify a need you want to address.
- Preparation: Clarify roles and responsibilities, develop a plan of actions to be taken, identify specified resources and timelines, and acquire any skills as needed to engage in the CAS experience.
- Action: Implement your idea or plan. This often requires decision-making and problem-solving. You may work individually, with partners, or in groups.
- Reflection: Describe what happened, express feelings, generate ideas, and raise questions. Reflection can occur at any time during CAS to further understanding, to assist with revising plans, to learn from the experience, and to make explicit connections between your growth, accomplishments, and the learning outcomes for personal awareness. Reflection may lead to new action.
- Demonstration: Make explicit what and how you learned and what you have accomplished, for example, by sharing your CAS experience through your CAS portfolio or with others in an informal or formal manner. Through demonstration and communication, you will solidify your understanding and evoke response from others.
The CAS stages provide a framework that enables you to:
- increase self-awareness
- learn about learning
- explore new and unfamiliar challenges
- employ different learning styles
- develop your ability to communicate and collaborate with others
- experience and recognize personal development
- develop attributes of the IB learner profile.
For singular CAS experiences, you may begin with investigation, preparation, or action. For ongoing CAS experiences, beginning with investigation is advised. In these ongoing experiences, the action stage may lead you back to investigation or preparation as you further develop, expand and implement new or related ideas.
Information on these pages is from the Diploma Programme Creativity, activity, service guide. International Baccalaureate Organization. 2015. Print.