International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme: Study of North and South American students' civic-mindedness (2013)

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Shelley H. Billig, Ph.D. and Brandie M. Good—RMC Research Corporation

This study examined the extent to which participation in the CAS requirement helped students to develop civic-mindedness among samples of schools in Canada, the United States and South America. The study was conducted in two phases—a qualitative exploratory study and a quantitative investigative study. Interviews with CAS coordinators and focus groups with Diploma Programme students were employed during the exploratory phase, and two surveys—one for students and one for alumni—were conducted during phase two. Although many students did not have a clear understanding of civic- mindedness, most believed that they should engage in activities to help the community. The majority of students and alumni were motivated to serve for altruistic or affective reasons rather than for practical ones, such as improving one’s resume. While the majority of students agreed their service activities were meaningful, students reported a small impact of CAS on their civic-mindedness. Reflection activities were occasional and were more often low-depth rather than high-depth.

Research Summary (PDF, 285 KB)

Full Report, Phase 1 (PDF, 421 KB)

Full Report, Phase 2 (PDF, 6.4 KB)