Earlier this month the ‘new’ CAS Guide for students graduating in 2017 and later was released by the IBO.

The publication of the new Guide is another chapter in the “evolution” of CAS and a deliberate move by the IBO to integrate the three elements of the core viz. TOK, CAS and EE better. It’s very real attempt to present the Diploma as a more holistic model.

How different is the new Guide from the previous one and what are the implications for CAS Coordinators as they adjust and adapt to the new Guide and renovate their CAS programs accordingly?

I intend to devote a series of blogs for teachers that will reveal these implications for change and how to shape their CAS programs.

Within this first blog let’s take an overview of the changes in CAS.

A good way to find this overview is download the current guide as well as the new Guide into a “wordle” – a word graphic that illustrates these changes.

To do this you need to make a word document of both guides and then drop each document into a wordle @ www.wordle.net You’ll then have a visual that will highlights the language in each Guide and also the emphases in this “evolution”.

Then look more closely at the new Guide. In the pdf attachment to this blog I have listed 19 changes that are evident.

What are 5 implications from the new Guide that deserve attention?

  1. In the new Guide and the relevant Teacher Support Materials that are available on the OCC there are better explanations of the links between CAS and TOK and specific examples of knowledge questions developed from CAS experiences.
  1. The aims of coherence in the core of TOK-CAS-EE for example in international mindedness, personal awareness, and support for and by the academic subjects have been alluded to before but never stated so clearly in previous CAS Guides. Albeit a positive move this will challenge many schools where CAS, TOK, and EE often operate as separate entities, exclusive to each other.
  1. There is a significant development and stronger emphasis on reflection in the new Guide. Not only is this highlighted in the guide but also in the TSM.
  1. The development of the CAS portfolio is clearly an important way of collecting and storing CAS evidence.
  1. The changes in the CAS Learning Outcomes are subtle changes in emphasis and it is worth noting that there is a whole section in TSM devoted to the Learning Outcomes to make these more relevant to students.

Overall this Guide displays the benefits of service learning and the influential input from Cathryn Berger Kaye who was consultant to the CAS Curriculum Review Committee and the authors of the new Guide .

The new CAS stages indicate a further evolution of the experiential model that’s in the current guide and mirror Berger Kaye’s model of the 5 stages of service learning.

What are your thoughts – are the changes and shifts in the new Guide valuable and relevant?

Summary changes new CAS Guide