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Experiential Learning CAS Training 2009 Understanding the Importance of …

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1 Experiential Learning CAS Training 2009 Understanding the Importance of …

2 Project Focus Essential Question #1: What is the goal of the IB program and what is the role of CAS within this program? Essential Question #2: What is experiential learning and what role does it play as part of the student experience in IB/CAS? Essential Question #3: What are the desired learning outcomes for students upon completion of their CAS activity? Essential Question #4: What is the role of reflection as a part of the learning process in CAS?

3 Essential Question #1: What is the goal of the IB program and what is the role of CAS within this program?

4 The IB Learner Profile IB learners strive to be: –Inquirers They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives. –Knowledgeable They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines. –Thinkers They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions. –Communicators They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others. –Principled They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them. –Open-minded They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience. –Caring They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment. –Risk-takers They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and Forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs. –Balanced They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others. –Reflective They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development. The goal of IB

5 The Framework: What is CAS? 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. CAS enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning. At the same time, it provides an important counterbalance to the academic pressures of the rest of the Diploma Programme. A good CAS programme should be both challenging and enjoyable, a personal journey of self ‑ discovery. Each individual student has a different starting point, and therefore different goals and needs, but for many their CAS activities include experiences that are profound and life ‑ changing. The role of CAS

6 More on CAS… For student development to occur, CAS should involve: –real, purposeful activities, with significant outcomes –personal challenge—tasks must extend the student and be achievable in scope –thoughtful consideration, such as planning, reviewing progress, reporting –reflection on outcomes and personal learning. All proposed CAS activities need to meet these four criteria. It is also essential that they do not replicate other parts of the student’s Diploma Programme work. The role of CAS

7 Aims of CAS Within the Diploma Programme, CAS provides the main opportunity to develop many of the attributes described 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. The role of CAS

8 Essential Question #2: What is experiential learning and what role does it play as part of the student experience in IB/CAS?

9 Experiential Learning “…if you believe in something, you must not just think or talk or write, but must act.” (Peterson 2003) Experiential learning is described as "the process whereby knowledge is created through a transformation of experience" (Kolb, 1984) According to Kolb there are four elements that are part of experiential learning: a. Concrete experience: being involved in a new experience. b. Reflective observation: watching others or developing observations about one’s own experience. c. Abstract conceptualization: creating theories to explain observations. d. Active experimentation: using theories to solve problems and make decisions. It is also suggested that experiential learning should involve multiple learning styles to push students to work with their individual strengths and weaknesses because being 'locked into' one style can put a learner at a serious disadvantage. What is experiential learning?

10 Experiential Learning and CAS The Cycle of Experiential Learning What is the role of experiential learning in CAS?

11 Essential Question #3: What are the desired learning outcomes for students upon completion of their CAS activity?

12 Learning Outcomes of CAS 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 in small 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. When students complete CAS they will have…

13 Essential Question #4: What is the role of reflection as a part of the learning process in CAS?

14 o Reflection is a vital component of CAS and is critical if experiential learning activities are to generate effective learning. o As mentioned in the CAS guide it should be emphasized that reflection needs to be developed. It should not be assumed that it comes naturally. It requires guidance and practice. o “Reflection requires individuals to recapture their experience, think about it, mull it over, and evaluate it…it must be active” Boud, Keogh, and Walker (1985) What is the role of reflection?

15 Kinds of Reflection Different kinds of reflection work for different people. Reflection can be: –public or private –individual or shared –objective or subjective Some examples from the CAS Guide include: Journals, portfolios, scrapbooks, photo essays, videos/DVDs or weblogs. Reflection should consider each stage of a students activity: before, during, and after. Reflections should also be ACTIVE! Reflection should also be guided by questions which not only summarize a students role in their experience, but also directs students to connect to their feelings, perceptions, and world view to the activity. Personal challenges, rewards, frustrations, and successes should all be addressed.

16 Kinds of Reflection Currently, there are reflection forms in place as part of the IB/CAS resources: –Activity/project self evaluation form – CAS: Student Final Summary form It should be recommended that these forms in and of themselves should not be the sole reflection piece required of a student upon completion of their CAS activity. Avoiding the perception that reflection is nothing more than filling out forms is important if the learning outcomes of CAS are to be achieved by students. It is essential that reflection be active and push students into recapturing their experience. Some ideas include: –Video, photo albums, the creation of a piece of artwork that offers a visual summary of their experience, a return visit to the people that were a part of their activity to conduct follow-up interviews, a short news cast style broadcast, exit interviews, the creation of a follow-up activity to generate interest in or offer support to an organization that was part of their CAS activity, creation of a PowerPoint which highlights their experience and is presented to the student body, school staff, parents, or community groups are all ACTIVE forms of reflection that could be used along with forms that guide students through reflective questions.

17 Reflection on Reflections All of the examples offered on the previous slide promote the idea that after the primary student experience there should be a secondary experience (Peter Jarvis). This secondary experience will not only offer the opportunity to reflect on their CAS activity but will also provide students the opportunity to apply their learning to new experiences. This process will ultimately help to develop the type of life skills that are emphasized in the IB Learner Profile while at the same time pushing students to achieve the desired learning outcomes of the CAS program. Reflection allows students to make sense out of concrete experience. Making sense out of personal experiences is what creates meaningful learning.

18 Final Thoughts As CAS is at the heart of the IB Diploma Program so too is experiential learning the heart of the CAS program. Experience is the engine that drives life-long learning and the reality is that in-school experiences cannot always replicate the complexity of the world that awaits students as they pursue post-secondary learning. So the more experiences that students can be placed in, create, and share the more likely that “students across the world will become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.” (from the IB mission statement)


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