Theory of Knowledge

Theory of Knowledge (ToK) Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is a core interdisciplinary course that all students follow on the IB Diploma. It is designed to develop a coherent approach to learning, transcending and unifying academic areas and encouraging appreciation of other cultural perspectives.

TOK stimulates critical thinking about knowledge itself, encourages young people to make sense of what they encounter and to ask questions such as ‘What counts as knowledge? When can we trust or have certainty regarding what we know? How does knowledge grow? What are its limits? Who owns knowledge? What is the value of knowledge? What are the implications of having, or not having knowledge?’

TOK students are ‘knowers’ of 16 to 18 years enjoying a developing life experience and education. They have already accumulated a vast amount of knowledge, beliefs and opinions personally through experience or as shared knowledge acquired through family, community and the wider world as well as through their academic studies and extracurricular activities.

In TOK they have the opportunity to step back from this continuing process of gaining knowledge, in order to consider knowledge questions as well as clarify and evaluate distinctions between the approaches and contexts of different areas of knowledge.

The subject matter of the TOK course is defined in terms of knowledge questions, with activities and discussions aiming to help students discover and express their views in a coherent and structured manner. The course encourages students to share ideas with others and to learn from what others think as well as to reflect upon the processes or ways through which a person can ‘know’.

Topics such as the relationship between knowledge and significant social and technological shifts such as the advent of the printing press or of social media may be explored.

Connections are facilitated between knowledge encountered in different Diploma Programme subjects, CAS experience and/or extended essay research. Through this process students’ understanding of knowledge as a dynamic process and as a human construction is shaped, enriched and deepened.

Learning and assessment are cohesively linked throughout the TOK course, facilitating students’ development of critical thinking skills and awareness of knowledge processes, through their investigation and exploration of the TOK knowledge framework as demonstrated through TOK questions expressed in terms of subjects that students study through their personalised IB Diploma hexagon.

Students develop argumentation and analytical skills within the frameworks of subject content that is explored critically through TOK concepts such as certainty, validity, truth and value. These skills are applied to students’ production of coursework that includes oral presentations based on knowledge questions and written essays that address and investigate specific knowledge questions.

TOK final assessment includes a short externally assessed essay addressing a knowledge question and chosen from a list of six prescribed titles set by the IB; an additional requirement is that the student give an oral presentation that focuses on a knowledge question they choose which they explore as key to a specific real life situation.

Up to 3 Bonus Points are available for excellent work in the Extended Essay and ToK.

O

ur purpose is to create a happy, secure and stimulating learning environment within which all members of our community can achieve their full potential and develop a commitment to lifelong learning.

Our purpose is to create a happy, secure and stimulating learning environment within which all members of our community can achieve their full potential and develop a commitment to lifelong learning.