TOK at NIS

TOK encourages students to become aware of themselves as thinkers, to become aware of the complexity of knowledge, and to recognize the need to act responsibly in an increasingly interconnected world.

 

Theory of Knowledge

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?”

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.

 

 

NIS Students and Parents:
To access specific assignments and class details, please log in to your Veracross portal.
To access curriculum plans, please log in to Rubicon Atlas.

Welcome to TOK at NIS.

Your teachers for 2013-14 are:

Mr Langston, Ms Despault and Mr Cofer – Grade 11

Mr Langston, Mr Cofer and Mr Swart – Grade 12

 

As this site builds you should find here various resources to help you make sense of the world of epistemology, IB-style.

You will find explanations of how the course functions, expectations here at NIS, advice on formal assessments, links to some fascinating media and all the relevant IB documentation.

Course Description
The Theory of Knowledge programme is central to the educational philosophy of the International Baccalaureate. It challenges students to reflect on diverse ways of knowing and areas of knowledge, and to consider the role which knowledge plays in a global society. It encourages students to become aware of themselves as thinkers, to become aware of the complexity of knowledge, and to recognize the need to act responsibly in an increasingly interconnected world.

As a thoughtful and purposeful inquiry into different ways of knowing, and into different kinds of knowledge, the TOK programme is composed almost entirely of questions. The most central of these questions is “How do I, or how do we, know that a given assertion is true, or a given statement is well grounded?” Assertions or judgements of this sort are termed “knowledge claims,” while the difficulties that arise in addressing these questions are known as “problems of knowledge” or “knowledge issues.” The programme entails the application of this central question to many, yet interrelated, topics.

Questions are the very essence of TOK, both ageless questions on which thinkers have been reflecting for centuries and new ones, often challenging to accepted belief, which are posed by contemporary life. In engaging with students in a critical examination of knowledge, it is hoped that an appreciation of the quest for knowledge, in particular its importance, its complexities, and its human implications, is fostered.

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. Specifically, the aims of the TOK course are for students to:

1. make connections between a critical approach to the construction of knowledge, the academic disciplines and the wider world
2. develop an awareness of how individuals and communities construct knowledge and how this is critically examined
3. develop an interest in the diversity and richness of cultural perspectives and an awareness of personal and ideological assumptions
4. critically reflect on their own beliefs and assumptions, leading to more thoughtful, responsible and purposeful lives
5. understand that knowledge brings responsibility which leads to commitment and action.

NIS Students and Parents:
To access specific assignments and class details, please log in to your Veracross portal.
To access curriculum plans, please log in to Rubicon Atlas.