Students examine their ideas, reflect on their assumptions, biases and prejudices that they may have taken for granted.
The Theory of Knowledge course promotes shared discovery, rather than teacher-directed instruction, as students critically evaluate information sources, such as the media, to determine their credibility. Students learn other essential skills, such as distinguishing between facts and opinions and recognising what constitutes substantial evidence.
The TOK also enables students to make meaningful connections between their IB subjects. Additionally, the course emphasises key concepts, such as truth, values and interpretation, encouraging students to think critically and apply their knowledge to a variety of contexts and subject areas.
Throughout the course, students deepen their understanding of the influences that have shaped their perspectives and the perspectives of others. Skills gained in the course instil a sense of cultural sensitivity that allows students to be more effective leaders. Looking at the nature of knowledge sparks discussions that lead from one subject area to another, giving students opportunities to make deep connections.
In the TOK course, IB students gain:
The TOK course consists of 3 interconnected parts.
Knowledge and the Knower. Reflecting on themselves as knowers and thinkers, students consider all the communities of knowers and thinkers they are a part of.
Students show how the TOK relates to the wider world through an individual exhibition. This includes a 900-word reflection piece and is internally evaluated by a teacher and externally moderated by an IB representative.
Graded by an IB examiner, the TOK essay is a formal piece of writing on the areas of knowledge. The paper must be no more than 1,600 words.
Final TOK grades are calculated on a scale from A-E. The essay constitutes 67% of the final TOK grade, while the exhibition accounts for 33%. Used in conjunction with the Extended Essay grade, the TOK grade may contribute up to 3 points toward the diploma score.
As they begin TOK, students are expected to:
Compare knowledge across disciplines
Consider how they use emotion, language, reason and sensory perceptions to gain knowledge
Recognise how personal and cultural views impact the knowledge-acquisition process
Additionally, they will explore the nature of knowledge in six subject areas.