Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is one of three components that comprise the core of the IB Diploma Programme. The other two components being the Extended Essay and CAS. Together, these components support each other to achieve three aims:
- To support, and be supported by, the academic disciplines
- Students are encouraged to reflect upon the content and activities in the academic disciplines to gain deeper understanding and examine the interconnectedness between the core and academic disciplines
- To foster international-mindedness, and
- Students are encouraged to explore issues of global significance, to examine the links between the local and the global, to consider the contexts and views of others, to reflect upon their own principles and values throughout their lives, and to develop into responsible global citizens
- To develop self-awareness and a sense of identity
- Students are encouraged to think about their own values and actions, to understand their place in the world, and to consider how their identity is being shaped
While TOK is often characterized as a philosophy course, its main purpose is to engage students in the thoughtful examination of the nature of knowledge and the process of knowing using the academic disciplines and personal experiences as a framework. TOK is a course about critical thinking and inquiry into the process of knowing. Students reflect on their own knowledge, beliefs, and opinions they explore the process of knowing and nature of knowledge. TOK is not concerned with any one specific body of knowledge. TOK draws upon the knowledge within academic disciplines, as well as the personal knowledge of the student, and encourages students to ask, "how we know what we claim to know" in the academic disciplines; as well as, in our personal lives. TOK encourages students to analyze and reflect upon the nature of knowledge through knowledge claims and knowledge questions. The TOK course also emphasizes the importance of developing skills to analyze and make effective judgments about competing knowledge claims. TOK is comprised of three main parts: the Core Theme: “Knowledge and the Knower”, two optional themes chosen by the teacher, and five Areas of Knowledge. Knowledge questions and Knowledge Frameworks help students explore the three parts of the TOK curriculum. In addition to the three main parts, students complete an internal assessment in the form of a TOK Exhibition and an external exam in the form of a Prescribed Title.
The central aim of TOK is to encourage students to ponder, reflect upon, and formulate possible answers to the central question: “how do you/we know?” in a variety of contexts, and to recognize the value of asking that question.
Further, the aims of the TOK course are for students to:
- to expose students to ambiguity, uncertainty, and questions with multiple plausible answers
- to equip students to effectively navigate and make sense of the world, and help prepare them to encounter novel and complex situations
- to encourage students to be more aware of their own perspectives and to reflect critically on their own beliefs and assumptions
- to engage students with multiple perspectives, foster open-mindedness, and develop intercultural understanding
- to encourage students to make connections between academic disciplines by exploring underlying concepts and by identifying similarities and differences in the methods of inquiry used in different areas of knowledge
- to prompt students to consider the importance of values, responsibilities, and ethical concerns relating to the production, acquisition, application, and communication of knowledge
*Course Overview and TOK aims taken from - International Baccalaureate TOK Subject Guide, 2020
In terms of late assignments, every non-IB required assignment has a firm due date, and a three day grace period. Any assignment submitted after the due date but before the grace period ends can earn full credit, but is considered late. Any assignment submitted after the specified due date and time will be considered late unless it is discussed with the teacher prior to the due date. Any assignment submitted after the grace period earns no credit. *See the Syllabus for additional details*
The syllabus page shows a table-oriented view of the course schedule, and the basics of course grading. You can add any other comments, notes, or thoughts you have about the course structure, course policies or anything else.
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