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.

Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

Two-year course taken during both junior and senior year
Course No.: 299 (Yr 1)   302 (Yr 2)     Grades Offered: 11-12
Credit: 0.5 (alternate day each year; 0.5 credit each year)

This is a requirement for students working to earn an IB Diploma. Students must be working towards the IB Diploma to enroll in the course. The Theory of Knowledge course is the central, interdisciplinary core around which the various subject areas of the International Baccalaureate Programme revolve. Students will explore knowledge systems of mathematics, human sciences, natural sciences, history, the arts, and ethics as understood through the lenses of emotion, reason, language and perception. Throughout the student’s experience in IB Programme classes, he or she is challenged to think globally and become a more independent learner. Toward that end, the TOK course will engage students in questioning and reflecting on various knowledge systems and their own roles within those systems as members of the global community.

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