International Education: the transformative potential of experiential learning

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Academic outcomes of post-16 education can be understood in terms of their value for gaining access to university and, at a time when global educational mobility is growing, internationally recognised university entrance qualifications may be considered a form of personal capital. However, narrowly measured outcomes may not reflect the breadth of the school experience nor the extent to which this breadth contributes to the development of the young person. One curriculum which aims to prepare students in ways that extend beyond the academic is the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, which incorporates an experiential element at its core. Creativity, Activity, Service attaches a transformative purpose to education, where students’ experiences in each of the three strands can support personal learning that is not confined to subject areas of an academic curriculum. This paper describes the evolution of CAS in the academically rigorous Diploma Programme and presents the findings from a review of literature which contribute towards developing an understanding of the transformative potential of this component.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-413
Number of pages11
JournalOxford Review of Education
Issue number4
Early online date6 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Mary Hayden is Professor of International Education and Head of the Department of Education at the University of Bath. Her research interests relate to international schools and international education, an area in which she has supervised Masters and Doctoral work and published widely. She is Editor in Chief of the Journal of Research in International Education, and an advisory board member of a number of international education projects.
ORCID: 0000-0003-2812-987X

Shona McIntosh is Research Associate in the Department of Education at the University of Bath. Her interest in learning processes, sociocultural contexts and their relation to human development are fundamental to her work to date, and have been applied to early career professional development of trainee teachers as well as adolescents in international contexts.
ORCID: 0000-0002-9223-3949


  • Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)
  • International Baccalaureate
  • International education
  • experiential learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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