Welcome to theoryofknowledge.net

Our mission

We support thousands of educators and learners around the world every year, and are passionately dedicated to making TOK a life-changing and empowering experience for all of them. This means:

  • Ideas and concepts explored via the latest real-life situations
  • Drawing inspiration from the most influential thinkers who have ever lived
  • Beautifully designed, constantly updated, media-rich lessons that engage and provoke
  • Encouraging students (and educators!) to confront their own assumptions about the world
  • Getting the whole community involved in TOK (teachers, students, and parents)
  • Click here to find out how we achieve this via our membership

What our members say about us

Our teaching and learning resources have been purchased by schools and individuals in over 900 cities, in more than 100 countries, and we count amongst our members many of the best IB schools in the world.

I have been teaching TOK for 17 years, and I wanted to let you know that I think the BQ resources I’ve been using so far this year are awesome! By exploring TOK concepts through well-chosen, unique and high-interest real-life situations, my students are engaged in ways they haven’t been before. Debbie, New York

Thanks so much for your resources. I just got through my first lot of students and 5 out of 14 got As! I did every webinar and used all of your resources and I recommend your site daily for the confidence it gave me to get going with the course. Katrina, Jakarta

Find out more about membership options here, and read what our members are saying about us on our testimonials page, where you’ll find a range of (unsolicited) comments from all over the world.

TOK is changing. Are you ready?

Diploma students who take their exams in 2022 will begin a new TOK syllabus this year. Find notes and guidance on the core and optional themes here, and on the areas of knowledge here. We have also rewritten our section for the TOK essay, and have offer support on the new assessment task – the exhibition – here.

Our new 6BQ framework allows members to deliver the course brilliantly, cover the core and optional themes, the ‘new’ AOKs, and support students to develop the skills they’ll need for the essay and exhibition. Our lessons are driven by up-to-the-second real-life situations, are conceptually rich, and are delivered on beautifully designed presentations.

Find out more about how to become a member of our site, and unlock the potential of TOK here. Watch our screencast introduction for the 6BQ framework here. See how the BQ framework aligns to the 2022 syllabus here.

Integrating the Diploma Programme

One of the key purposes of the TOK course is to act as the hub of the Diploma Programme, bringing together all its different components. But that’s always been difficult to achieve in practice.

We’ve developed the answer: the TOK Integration Tool. For every DP subject, you’ll find an Integration folder, containing easy-to-use resources that not only bring TOK into non-TOK lessons, but also enrich other subjects.

Find out more on this page, and download some sample materials to see how this resource will revolutionize not just TOK, but the entire Diploma Programme. Here’s our screencast introducing this brilliant resource.

Self-guided TOK lessons

During the Coronavirus quarantine, we’re all figuring out how best to deliver online classes. TOK – with its rich range of concepts and ideas, and unfamiliar forms of assessment – offers particular challenges. We’ve got this covered, with our ‘self-guided’ (SG) TOK lessons.

Each SG lesson comprises an adapted Google Slides presentation, support notes to guide students through each slide, and other handouts. You’ll even find plenary presentations to help you run Zoom or Hangouts sessions, debriefing key ideas from lessons.

Here’s an example of a SG lesson presentation, and the support notes that accompany it. Watch our screencast outlining the SG lessons here.

Keeping TOK real

Our newsletter is still the only one of its kind, and is a key reason why our support for the course is always up-to-date, and always relevant to the lives of your students.

The 2022 syllabus places a big emphasis on how TOK manifests itself in the real world. But finding the latest real-life situations can be time-consuming. Our unique newsletter does the hard work for you, providing you – and your whole DP faculty – with 20 compelling news stories every month, linked to areas of knowledge, TOK themes, and knowledge questions.

Check out our screencast video outlining the newsletter here, a recent edition here, and information about our three memberships that include the newsletter as part of their packages.

Online and in-school workshops

theoryofknowledge.net’s creator Michael Dunn has run TOK workshops in schools all over the world. He’ll be very happy to help you instill passion and purpose for TOK amongst your staff and studenets, either in person, or online.

If you want to make TOK a genuinely life-changing experience, adapt to the new syllabus, or hone the skills of your staff and students, Michael can help you to achieve this.

Find out about the schools around the world that we’ve already visited, and download a list of exemplar workshop modules.

Webinars on the new TOK syllabus

We’ve been running a series of free and ticketed webinars over the past few months to help you make the transition to the new TOK syllabus.

Visit our webinar page, and either join us live, or purchase a recorded webinar, to ensure that your department is ready for the new course. You’ll find a webinar looking at the whole 2022 course, one on the new forms of assessment, and also webinars on the latest prescribed essay titles.

All ticket holders receive a ‘debrief email’, which includes a link to the webinar video recording, the webinar presentation, and responses to questions asked by attendees. Find out more here.

Read our free TOK Coordinator’s Guide

Created in association with ManageBac, Michael has written a guide for TOK coordinators, to help you set up and manage a great TOK department in your school. Divided into two sections – corresponding to new and experienced coordinators – the guide goes through every aspect of being a TOK coordinator.

Get advice on a huge number of aspects of delivering TOK, from creating a great course to integrating TOK with other DP subjects; from recruiting the right TOK teachers, to marketing the course to students, staff, and parents.

Download the guide for free here, and feel free to provide us with comments, which we can build into the next edition of the guide.

The Knowledge Lexicon

The knowledge lexicon lists 1000 terms and ideas related to the way we produce, evaluate, and use knowledge. Each term is related to a BQ and a TOK context, and linked to a media source which discusses the term.

 The knowledge lexicon is perhaps our most powerful tool yet for students to understand and articulate their relationship as knowers with the world. It is designed primarily for the new (2022) TOK syllabus, but can, of course, be used for the 2015 syllabus as well. The lexicon is accessible only to members of the site; if you’d like to unlock this feature, join us via this link.

Visualizing the 2022 TOK syllabus

Download our new diagram for TOK, and see how we make use of it in Lesson 1.2 of our new BQ1 Unit, in which we think about the new elements of the course, 12 key concepts that are particularly significant, and how we’ll explore the course.

The 2022 syllabus moves TOK even closer to the way we’ve been doing things since the beginning of 2017, with an increased emphasis on concepts, and a more integrated approach to thinking about knowledge. Join us, and gain access to our unrivalled range of resources for TOK, here.

Receive the free monthly TOK newsletter

Click here to subscribe to our unique free TOK newsletter. Every month you’ll receive 8 different media stories, inviting you to explore what’s going on in the world via TOK.

The newsletter keeps the course fresh, helps you to build a library of examples that can be used in the TOK assessment tasks, and connects you to the biggest events and issues happening right now.

How our approach aligns to the new TOK syllabus

The Big Question framework comprises 72 classroom-ready Google Slides presentations, the TOK newsletter, and a host of other resources, as well as notes and support on the site.

But how well does the BQ framework align with the new syllabus? This page answers that question, and demonstrates that our approach to TOK will continue to offer – by far – the best way of delivering the course, and providing a genuinely life-changing experience to students and educators.

What are knowledge questions?

At the heart of the TOK syllabus – still – are ‘knowledge questions’. In this video, made in association with Cambridge University Press, Michael explains what KQs are, and the role they play in TOK.

Throughout the website, you’ll find exemplar knowledge questions, and links to media sources to help you explore them in a real world context. You can also sign up for our free newsletter here, which provides you with new stories every single month.