Aims and structure of TOK
Although TOK doesn’t have a concrete syllabus, which is examined at the end of the course, it still has a clear structure, and set of aims. At theory of knowledge we try to tie TOK to the ‘4Cs’ of education – critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity. And we explore the core theme, optional themes, and areas of knowledge via our 6 Big Questions.
Aims of TOK
Theory of knowledge is the ‘flagship course’ of the Diploma not only because it is unique, but also because it draws together all the knowledge that is learned in other courses, and questions the validity of what we think we know. Amongst other things, it seeks to do the following:
- To help students to discover the richness of knowledge, and to realize how empowering knowledge can be.
- To examine how knowledge is built up, examined, and evaluated by individuals and societies.
- To reflect on how we learn – both inside and outside school – and to make links between the academic disciplines and our thoughts, feelings and actions.
- To reinforce the idea that there are many different ways of thinking and perspectives, and assumptions we have because of our cultural and individual positions may obscure the way we see the world.
- To suggest some of the responsibilities that may come with knowledge.
In our first BQ unit, we align TOK to the ‘four Cs’ of education, arguing that TOK helps students to think critically, be creative, learn collaboratively, and communicate their ideas. Not only does this provide 4 clear aims for the course, it also demonstrates how relevant TOK is to the modern world.
Exploring the TOK themes and areas of knowledge
Although we arrange the TOK course around the BQs, the site also allows you to explore any aspect of the course in extra depth via the exploration points. These are found on every the page for the core theme, the optional themes, and the areas of knowledge, and comprise questions and tasks, links to media sources, advice on how to draw on the 12 key concepts, and other support. They are particularly useful when it comes to your students creating their exhibitions and essays.