A core requirement of the IB programme, the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is an interdisciplinary course intended to stimulate critical reflection on the nature and acquisition of different Areas of Knowledge (AoK) and different Ways of Knowing (WoK).
The course challenges students to question the bases of knowledge, to be aware of subjective and ideological biases and to develop the ability to analyse evidence. TOK is a key IBDP subject which helps students to appreciate different cultural perspectives and to develop ‘inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young individuals’ with ‘intercultural understanding and respect’ as clearly espoused in the IB mission statement.
Discussion forms the backbone of the TOK course. TOK Teachers mainly assume the role of a facilitator. Students are invited to consider knowledge questions against the backdrop of their experiences of knowledge in their other Diploma Programme subjects but also in relation to the practical experiences offered by CAS and the formal research that takes place for the extended essay. The experiences of the student outside school also have a role to play in these discussions, although TOK seeks to strike a balance between the shared and personal aspects of knowledge.
Years 3 and 4 IP students will also take the Elementary Theory of Knowledge (eTOK) as part of their preparatory course for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in Years 5 and 6.