Who are we?

The team was set up in 2009, and since then has supported thousands of students, educators and schools around the world. Our mission is to make the Theory of Knowledge course a genuinely life-changing experience for everyone involved in it.

This page outlines the small team of people who set it up, run it, and help to make sure it remains the world’s most innovative and empowering resource for the theory of knowledge course. Watch the video to find out about our aims, history, the support we offer to members and our online and in-school workshops.

Michael Dunn, MA, PGCE was created by Michael Dunn in 2009. He was fed up with students solely exploring TOK using textbooks that, although undoubtedly well-written and up-to-date when written, soon lost their relevance and impact upon publication.

Michael went to school in Cambridge, and university at Edinburgh, where he majored in history and was awarded an MA with honours. He did his PGCE at Exeter University, spending his first couple of years as a teacher in London.

He has worked in various different schools in Bogotá and Lima since 2001, and his last position was as TOK Coordinator, Head of Form VI, and MYP humanities teacher at Newton College, Peru, from 2016 – 2020. Over the years, he has also collaborated with Cambridge University Press on written and video blogs, resource development, and in-school seminars and workshops for students and teachers.

Michael created the TOK Coordinator’s handbook for ManageBac (see the first volume here, and second volume here), and has helped them to create many of their TOK resources. He has delivered various webinars to help promote their support for TOK, such as their ‘Around the World in 24 Hours’ event. Watch his discussion on ‘How to set up a great TOK department’ here, and ‘Making the most of TOK 2022’ here.

Michael is dedicated to revolutionizing not just resources for TOK, but also how to conceive of the course itself.

Michael is dedicated to revolutionizing not just resources for TOK, but also how to conceive of the course itself. With the development of the Big Question Framework, he created a completely new approach to TOK, which takes teachers away from the shopping list mentality of moving through course via the themes and areas of knowledge. It also makes it much easier to create a fully-integrated course. Download some sample lessons from this page.

In August 2019, he introduced the DP Integration Tool, which reboots not only TOK, but the whole of the Diploma Programme. This resource provides a series of Integration ‘plugins’ for every DP subject, enabling non-TOK teachers to draw effortlessly on the course, and create a genuinely integrated educational experience. Find out more on this pioneering resource here, and view some free resources showing how the Tool works in the context of Anthropology.

Living and working in the most famous centre of learning in the world is an inspiring place to be for anyone involved in education

Michael moved back to Cambridge in July 2020, and now dedicates himself full-time to running both, and Living and working in the most famous centre of learning in the world is an inspiring place to be for anyone involved in education, which perhaps helps to explain why continues to be so innovative. Covid-permitting, his location will make it much easier for him to visit schools in the UK and Europe, so if you’d like him to help you instill both passion and purpose for the TOK course amongst your students and staff, don’t hesitate to get in touch using the form below.

Carolina Vasquez Sandoval

Carolina advises on design and usability, oversees databases, makes Spanish translations, and ensures that emails and cries for help from students and teachers receive a response.

Carolina was born and brought up in Lima, attending school at Carmelitas, before studying at Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, and Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas. She has extensive experience of working with children, both as a mother of three, and as a teaching assistant at the Anglo-Colombiano in Bogotá. She also has the dubious honour of being Michael’s wife.

Ned Riley, MA, PGCE

Ned was an award winning student of History at Cardiff University, graduating top of the class of 2004, and winning the Dr A. G. Little Prize for Best Final Year History Student and the Ursula Henriques Prize for Best Final Year Student in Modern British History. He completed his MA in 2006, for which he gained a distinction, before completing his PGCE at UWE, in 2009.

In 2016 he joined as the resident History geek on all things related in the IB Diploma and MYP. This was a perfect fit for someone who had spent years looking for new, innovative ways to imbed TOK within the History curriculum.

Ned’s is Subject Area Lead for Individuals & Societies at the International School of the Hague. He is also a History Examiner, a trainee school appraiser for the Latin American Heads Conference, and a member of Peru Impact Lab, the region’s first cohort of Google Educators. He runs the amazing History Rising website, which offers the best resources in the world for DP history.

Paul Keller

Paul is a former BBC and FT journalist, who advises on everything related to the media, and helps us to put together the monthly newsletter.

He’s based in Peru, and as well as writing a column for the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio, is in charge of the film department at Markham College, Lima. He also runs FeelM, is a learning platform where young people can learn the key skills needed to make engaging and memorable short films.

Sam Barnes

Sam is our brilliant web developer, and CEO of Design Monkey, a Cambridge-based company specializing in digital & creative marketing. Sam designs and develops stunning bespoke websites for a wide range of organizations in many different industries.

Contact us

Ask us any question about the course, how to become a member, or advice on teaching and learning TOK.

Find out about us here, and read testimonials from members here.