Made up of the three required components, the DP core aims to broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills.
The three core elements are:
Theory of knowledge, in which students reflect on the nature of knowledge and on how we know what we claim to know.
The extended essay, which is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper.
Creativity, activity, service, in which students complete a project related to those three concepts.
CAS is one of the core courses of diploma program, which includes three aspects of creativity, activity and service, aiming at fostering students ' innovative spirits, healthy living awareness and global citizenship responsibility. Within two years of diploma course time, CAS course provides students with theoretical support and activity opportunities, through a variety of activities experience, introspection and self feedback, let students contact the society, creativity, physical exercise and social service awareness of the specific practice, it is considered "a journey of discovery self."
Theory of knowledge (TOK) is a course about critical thinking and inquiring into the process of knowing, rather than about learning a specific body of knowledge. It plays a special role in the DP by providing an opportunity for students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, to make connections between areas of knowledge and to become aware of their own perspectives and those of the various groups whose knowledge they share. It is a core element undertaken by all DP students, and schools are required to devote at least 100 hours of class time to the course. The overall aim of TOK is to encourage students to formulate answers to the question “how do you know?” in a variety of contexts, and to see the value of that question. This allows students to develop an enduring fascination with the richness of knowledge.
The aims of the TOK course are to:
• make connections between a critical approach to the construction of knowledge, the academic disciplines and the wider world
• develop an awareness of how individuals and communities construct knowledge and how this is critically examined
• develop an interest in the diversity and richness of cultural perspectives and an awareness of personal and ideological assumptions
• critically reflect on their own beliefs and assumptions, leading to more thoughtful, responsible and purposeful lives
• understand that knowledge brings responsibility which leads to commitment and action
The extended essay is a compulsory, externally assessed piece of independent research into a topic chosen by the student and presented as a formal piece of academic writing. The extended essay is intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity while engaging students in personal research. This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing of up to 4,000 words in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned, coherent and appropriate manner.
Students are guided through the process of research and writing by an assigned supervisor (a teacher in the school). All students undertake three mandatory reflection sessions with their supervisor, including a short interview, or viva voce, following the completion of the extended essay.
Extended essay topics may be chosen from a list of approved DP subjects—normally one of the student’s six chosen subjects for the IB diploma or the world studies option. World studies provides students with the opportunity to carry out an in-depth interdisciplinary study of an issue of contemporary global significance, using two IB disciplines.
The aims of the extended essay are to provide students with the opportunity to:
• engage in independent research with intellectual initiative and rigour
• develop research, thinking, self-management and communication skills
• reflect on what has been learned throughout the research and writing process.