Did you know?
The theory of knowledge (TOK) requirement is central to the educational philosophy of the Diploma Programme.
It offers students and their teachers the opportunity to:
- reflect critically on diverse ways of knowing and on areas of knowledge
- consider the role and nature of knowledge in their own culture, in the cultures of others and in the wider world.
In addition, it prompts students to:
- be aware of themselves as thinkers, encouraging them to become more acquainted with the complexity of knowledge
- recognize the need to act responsibly in an increasingly interconnected but uncertain world.
As a thoughtful and purposeful inquiry into different ways of knowing, and into different kinds of knowledge, TOK is composed almost entirely of questions. The most central of these is “How do we know?”
TOK FOR FUN – keynote
It is a stated aim of TOK that students should become aware of the interpretative nature of knowledge, including personal ideological biases, regardless of whether, ultimately, these biases are retained, revised or rejected.
TOK also has an important role to play in providing coherence for the student as it transcends and links academic subject areas, thus demonstrating the ways in which they can apply their knowledge with greater awareness and credibility.
The aims of the TOK course are for students 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.
Further to these, it is expected that by the end of the TOK course, students will be able to:
- identify and analyse the various kinds of justifications used to support knowledge claims
- formulate, evaluate and attempt to answer knowledge questions
- examine how academic disciplines/areas of knowledge generate and shape knowledge
- understand the roles played by ways of knowing in the construction of shared and personal knowledge
- explore links between knowledge claims, knowledge questions, ways of knowing and areas of knowledge
- demonstrate an awareness and understanding of different perspectives and be able to relate these to one’s own perspective
- explore real-life/contemporary issues from a TOK perspective.
You can access the full TOK guide here:
How then do we know what is true?