Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
“ The key issues addressed in Theory of Knowledge (TOK) lessons are: How do we know? Can we be certain of anything? The search for truth, Areas of Knowledge, Persuasion and Propaganda, Knowledge and Culture. ”
The course is assessed through a personal or pair presentation (freely chosen) and a personal essay (chosen from a list of IB titles).
Theory of Knowledge is also delivered through the six academic subjects. A typical Humanities/Arts lesson might revolve around the discussion of myth: What is a myth? To what extent can it be said to be true? What kind of knowledge can it give us?
A Science lesson might consider how science progresses, whether the knowledge it provides is certain, or what constitutes an experiment.
Theory of Knowledge is at the heart of the IB Diploma because it is about the acquisition and processing of information and the ability to criticise and improve upon arguments and data presentation.
Theory of Knowledge challenges students to question the bases of knowledge, to be aware of bias and to develop a personal way of thinking based on analysis of evidence expressed in rational argument but with due respect for emotion.
Theory of Knowledge is the key element in the IB’s educational philosophy. It unifies and transcends the academic subjects, encouraging appreciation of other cultural perspectives and the development of a coherent approach to learning.
Many IB students have commented that Theory of Knowledge is the most fascinating part of the IB Diploma because it draws learning and experience together. It makes you stop and think about your own world paradigm, and to examine the role of emotion, reason, perception, language, imagination, faith, intuition and memory in your own contributions to enquiry and debate.
It links with many extra-curricular activities, too, such as Debating and Public Speaking, Model United Nations, and the Red Cross International Ambassadors.