Theory Of Knowledge (TOK)
This course is an attempt to get students to think outside the box and take ownership of their learning. Students will be exposed to different ways of thinking and sharing. Students will have an understanding of Areas of Knowledge and Ways of Knowing through a variety of dialogues, presentations, reading and writings. They will tackle understanding the concept of “to know” as well as how individuals truly are “knowers”, and to what extent personal experiences and language play a role in defining “knowers” and “knowing”.
Theory of Knowledge will be a class in which students and teacher will explore and identify the connections between all courses students have been participants of (Areas of Knowledge), as well as their knowledge of social issues and current events. Students of TOK will be able to make these connections because they will become masters of thinking critically and using reason when explaining controversial issues or dissecting judgments or claims made by others. Students will demonstrate their knowledge through oral communication (discussions, debates, performance) as well as through written means.
Aims of the Theory of Knowledge Course:
The aims of the Theory of Knowledge Course of Study, are to develop within our students the ability to reflect and question in all areas of knowledge, so that they:
- Enrich critical thinking capacity as a toll to evaluate beliefs and knowledge claims
- Recognize the value of critically examining knowledge claims
- Deepen and broaden interdisciplinary connections
- Discover how much knowledge involves interpretation as well as personal and ideological bias
- Recognize the responsibility that knowing places upon the knower
- Understand how individual and cultural perspectives both strengthen and limit knowledge
- Recognize the importance of rigor and intellectual honesty when creating or evaluating knowledge claims
Objectives of the Program:
As a result of study in the Theory of Knowledge course, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate as understanding of strengths and limitations of various ways of knowing and of methods used in the different areas of knowledge
- Demonstrate a capacity to reason critically and make connections between and across Ways of Knowing and Areas of Knowledge
- Make connections between personal experiences and different Ways of Knowing and Areas of Knowledge
- Demonstrate an understanding of knowledge at work in the world, and identify values underlying judgments and knowledge pertinent to local and global issues.
- Demonstrate an understanding that personal views, judgments, and beliefs may influence their own knowledge claims and those of others through the use of both oral and written language to formulate and communicate ideas clearly.
TOK Course Assessment:
There are two complementary assessment tasks, the essay and the presentation, that students will have to completing to show the extent in which they have achieved the Theory of Knowledge course objectives.
1. Essay on a Prescribed Title (Part I)
- A 1200-1600 word essay that each student will submit for external assessment. This essay will be based on any one of the six titles prescribed by the IBO. Each title asks generic questions about knowledge and are cross-disciplinary. This essay will be answered by students referencing the TOK course, a specific discipline or with reference to opinions gained inside or outside the classroom.
- The chosen title will be used exactly as given by the IBO.
- Students will complete the task by formulating a clear thesis to demonstrate their ability to link “Knowledge” with “Areas of Knowledge” and “Ways of Knowing” using examples to illustrate their main points.
2. TOK Presentation (Part II) Internal Assessment
TOK Presentation has two main areas:
- Development section – This is where the knowledge question is assessed with regards to the areas of knowledge (AOK) and ways of knowing (WOK). For each AOK or WOK, students need to make a claim (what you want to prove), counterclaim (a problem with your claim) and mini-conclusion (bringing your claim and counterclaim together as a cohesive thought).
- Use of evidence section – This is when you provide evidence for all your claims and counterclaims made for each AOK and WOK.