Theory of Knowledge: Class of 2021

//Theory of Knowledge: Class of 2021

Theory of knowledge (TOK) is assessed through an oral presentation and a 1,600 word essay. It asks students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, and on how we know what we claim to know. TOK requires you to consider different perspectives on real-life situations in topics and issues.  TOK is part of the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) core, and is mandatory for all students. As a thoughtful and purposeful inquiry into different ways of knowing, and into different kinds of knowledge, TOK is composed almost entirely of questions.

To help you identify your own real-life situations that deal with different perspectives in our global world. Check out the different media sources below and use them for discussion and to be informed. You might also like to link these for your Language A/B and I and S work!

The BIG Questions

What counts as evidence for X?

How do we judge which is the best model of Y?

What does theory Z mean in the real world?

ToK Essay & Assessment

How will you work be assessed and what does this look like?

Here are example essay all of the same question but which show different level of complexity and understanding of the TOK framework. Please feel free to use these to see how you might develop your own work in 2021!

Here is how your work will be assessed:

This might help you unpack your essay over the next few months:

This will help you self and peer review your first and final drafts before submitting them to your teacher. Use this as a guide:

ToK Presentation & Assessment

Here are example presentations from previous ISS graduates. You can see an example kindly given by three Grade 12 students. Use it to get a better idea of how to structure and present your ToK thinking.

Here is how your work will be assessed:

This will help you self and peer review your first and final drafts before submitting them to your teacher. Use this as a guide:

This might help you unpack your presentation planning form:

ToK Journal

ISS organises a TOK journal where you will be given opportunities to reflect on different aspects of your learning in TOK. This will form part of your overall e-portfolio and you will be given prompts regularly by your TOK teacher for reflection and discussions.

Here is guidance on how your TOK journal is to be structured and some examples of particularly good ones:

Academic Honesty

If you use a source of information in your presentation, you should acknowledge that source in the usual way, i.e. citation and referencing. This especially applies to images

If you use a powerpoint presentation or similar visual tool, you should provide a bibliography at the end of the presentation, with appropriate in-text citation where you use sources of information. This also applies to use of images.

“If students incorporate the thoughts and ideas of others into the presentation, this must be acknowledged.”

(International Baccalaureate, 2013, p. 56)

Reference: International Baccalaureate. (2013). Theory of Knowledge Guide, first assessment 2015. Cardiff, UK: International Baccalaureate Organization.

We use MLA8 referencing as part of TOK for all our work. Please see more here about paraphrasing, citing, quoting and working with sources here:

Points from TOK and the ISS High School and IB Diplomas:

Check out our Resource Collections!

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