The world’s largest lesson – carpe diem!

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" ......Nelson Mandela A unique learning opportunity occurs starting week of September 18. It would be remiss of me, and negligent of us all, not to be aware of the potential outcomes of promoting and connecting our learning communities to this – the “World’s Largest Lesson” - as schools around the globe participate and challenge young people to consider what they can do to help in their own way, in ...

Bye, bye plastic bags (part 2) – “Work as a team. Define your goals. Walk the talk.”

"Students truly take ownership of a concept only by doing and experiencing it in practical terms. I believe international-mindedness is best taught by connecting with others around the globe or in the many different worlds to be found by stepping outside of accepted comfort zones in one’s back yard.” (Kris Kosaka, CAS Coordinator and teacher at Tamagawa Academy, Machida, Japan)  Some months ago I wrote a blog about the remarkable achievements of 2 young sisters who attend the Green School in Ubud (Bali) ...

Bye bye plastic bags

Transformational learning - changing habits and attitudes on a big scale The term transformational learning commonly emerges in CAS. Students can often cite moments and experiences wherein they have changed and in doing so they become lucidly aware of the need to change the behaviours and the attitudes of others. Teachers and parents are privileged to witness similar 'evolutions' in their classes and their children. Three years ago sisters Melati and Isabel Wijsen were sitting in a class in the Green School in Ubud ...

In college applications – show kindness instead of overachieving

A recent report published by the Harvard Graduate School of Education spells good news for CAS students. Your CAS portfolios will have more currency and value in college applications. Called “Turning the Tide” the report reflects on the biases of the admissions process for US Colleges and urges a revolution therein. Richard Weissbourd is one of the directors of that school’s Making Caring Common project, which was responsible for producing the report. He also authored the research that was one of the triggers ...

A Simple and Beautiful Reminder

Last month I had the privilege of facilitating a workshop in Tokyo. Coincidentally this meant that I had a few days free to travel and explore Japan. Knowing that I would be in Japan on the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb dropping, I had already made a travel plan to visit the city and to spend some time to try and gather more thoughts and impressions of this horrendous event. On my last day of the workshop I noticed on my desk ...

Sometimes you never know…

One of the most enduring lessons that I've taken from CAS is that the when, where, why, and how of students reach the 7 Learning Outcomes in experiential learning are very hard to predict. Similarly the applicability of the passions and skill-sets that are discovered and unleashed  in CAS don't always occur as you expect or anticipate. Consider these factors of relevance, sustainability, passion, and 'grit' as you read Bao Cao's CAS story. From a start in helping to organise soccer games, tournaments ...

“We need to harness Youthful Idealism”

I still remember the context of this ‘resource’. As I was entering the room for our weekly HS Leadership meeting at JIS (Jakarta Intercultural School), the Departmental Head of HS Science handed me an article from The International Herald Tribune Opinion pages. “Here Steve, you should read this,” Bill said with a smile. Of course I immediately did so and I paid little attention to agenda nor the meeting that got underway. Thanks to Bill I have been using this ‘resource’ in my CAS workshops ...

Global Citizenship

By Thursday, August 6, 2015 No tags 0

Global citizenship education is a sociological experiment. Most schools promise to create global citizens or global leaders, but what kind of global citizen do we want to create? It's a blurred utopian vision. Do we want future citizens who feel a moral responsibility to respond to global crises or do we want to encourage a powerful global elite? The philosophy of cosmopolitanism underlies theories of global citizenship. Cosmopolitanism is the ability to balance a local and global identity. A cosmopolitan individual engages meaningfully ...

Your CAS Currency

In the newly published CAS Guide (2014) there are 5 stages identified that represent a process and a sequence that can assist you to set up a reliable and flexible structure to frame and build your CAS experiences. In the initial stage called Investigation you are invited to..... “identify your interests, skills and talents to be used in considering opportunities for CAS experiences, as well as areas for personal growth and development. You investigate what you want to do and determine the purpose ...

voluntary v’s mandatory

DP students should question why is CAS, and especially service, compulsory in the DP program. The question and debate about whether a service program should be mandatory or voluntary is, according to Samuel Halperin - the director of the American Youth Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. "....a red herring.The students who benefit most from service activities are the ones who would never volunteer.  Those who think they're going to hate it end up loving it." But is this explanation enough to convince you ...