What is Theory of Knowledge (TOK)?

Date: 17/06/2021

Theory of Knowledge is a core component of the IB Diploma. TOK promotes intellectual curiosity through critical thinking and reflection about what we know.

Although TOK is not a philosophy course. It draws on aspects of epistemology in a very practical way. Mainly in developing critical thinking and analytical skills in preparation for university study.

The benefits of Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

The TOK programme enables students to:

  • Explore different ways of knowing and consider knowledge questions
  • Reflect critically on approaches and methods of gaining knowledge
  • Make connections between different subjects areas. Explore the way knowledge is produced across disciplines. Consider similarities and differences in History, Natural Sciences, Human Sciences, Mathematics and the Arts
  • Become open-minded ‘thinkers’ and ‘inquirers’ around beliefs and opinions; develop IB Learner Profile attributes
  • Reflect on life situations with awareness of when assumptions and biases are influencing what we think we know
  • Develop academic skills through formal essay writing and internally assessed exhibition.

TOK involves 100 teaching hours. The other elements are the Extended Essay (EE) and Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS). TOK and the EE contribute up to 3 points towards the IB Diploma score.

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