Theory of Knowledge

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is a multi-disciplinary subject and prepares all pupils for any future higher education course or career. It teaches pupils to explore knowledge and think critically in a range of ways, developing the skills of evaluation, analysis, self-presentation, cogent argument and confident reasoning that are highly prized by any University department or any prospective employer.

The TOK course is an integral part of the core of the IB Diploma Programme intended to develop independent, critical thinkers.

Pupils study a wide variety of different approaches to knowledge and information with the emphasis on exploring knowledge questions such as ‘What shapes my perspective as a knower?’; ‘Should the pursuit of knowledge be subject to ethical constraints?’; ‘Is it possible to think or know without language?’ and ‘What kinds of knowledge inform our political opinion?’

The course is structured around a core theme that considers the ideas of ‘Knowledge and the Knower’ followed by optional themes that explore Language and Politics on knowledge. A series of collective ‘Areas of Knowledge’ including Natural Sciences, Human Societies, Maths, Art and History, also form a basis for analysing different forms of knowledge.

Pupils engage in a variety of classroom exercises, hear speakers from a range of subject areas and explore different knowledge questions through contemporary issues.

All candidates produce a ToK exhibition, which involves selecting three objects related to a ToK prompt.
Each item requires a short typed commentary and the whole exhibition will be showcased to an audience. They are also required to write an essay on a choice of titles set by the IBO which will focus on a knowledge question and provide the pupil to explore this through real-life examples and their chosen areas of knowledge.

The mark for TOK forms part of the Core of the Diploma Programme and the grade contributes to the allocation of the 3 marks available for this component