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Areas of knowledge

Areas of knowledge

The areas of knowledge are broad categories into which we place our understanding of the world. The IB requires that students should develop a detailed knowledge of all of these.

Follow the links below to access a huge amount of free and premium material to help you take ownership of the areas of knowledge, and draw on them to create effective assessment tasks.

Explore the areas of knowledge

Explore the areas of knowledge by clicking on the images below. We’ve divided each AOK page by both Big Question and by the different aspects of the knowledge framework, so whether you are following a conceptual approach to TOK, or a more traditional structure, you can use it to study and teach the course.

The arts

Access quotes, KQs, real-world issues, and key thinkers and ideas about the arts. Members can also use the Exploration Points to delve more deeply into this optional theme. Find out more.

History

Access quotes, knowledge questions, real-world issues, and key thinkers and ideas about history. Members can also use the Exploration Points to delve more deeply into this optional theme. Find out more.

The human sciences

Access quotes, knowledge questions, real-world issues, and key thinkers and ideas about human sciences. Members can also use the Exploration Points to delve more deeply into this optional theme. Find out more.

Mathematics

Access quotes, knowledge questions, real-world issues, and key thinkers and ideas about mathematics. Members can also use the Exploration Points to delve more deeply into this optional theme. Find out more.

The natural sciences

Access quotes, knowledge questions, real-world issues, and key thinkers and ideas about natural sciences. Members can also use the Exploration Points to delve more deeply into this optional theme. Find out more.

How does the TOK course fit together?

The optional themes are our personal and societal affiliations which shape the way we produce and acquire knowledge.

The areas of knowledge the the ways in which we categorize ideas and concepts in order to understand and take ownership of it.

Both the themes and the AOKs help to define us as knowers, which we focus on within the core theme – knowledge and the knower – as well as looking at the different communities of knowers to which we belong.

Exploration points

Explore the quotes, KQs, real-world issues, and ideas that feature on the site via discussion points and unpacking ideas, links to additional media sources, guidance on using the key concepts of TOK, and other suggestions. To gain access to the Exploration Points, become a member.

Join theoryofknowledge.net

Members of the site have access to a huge amount of resources for TOK, including a complete course of classroom-ready lessons, the monthly newsletter, our DP Integration Tool, Investigating Issues, Knowledge Heroes, and loads more goodies! Join in seconds via this page.

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.

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How does the TOK course fit together?

The optional themes are our personal and societal affiliations which shape the way we produce and acquire knowledge.

The areas of knowledge the the ways in which we categorize ideas and concepts in order to understand and take ownership of it.

Both the themes and the AOKs help to define us as knowers, which we focus on within the core theme – knowledge and the knower – as well as looking at the different communities of knowers to which we belong.

Exploration points

Within the different pages for the optional themes you’ll find our exploration point documents. These offer guidance, discussion points, and a huge range of media sources to help you place learning in a real-world context. Gain access to the exploration points by becoming a member.

Join theoryofknowledge.net

Members of the site have access to a huge amount of resources for TOK, including a complete course of classroom-ready lessons, the monthly newsletter, our DP Integration Tool, Investigating Issues, Knowledge Heroes, and loads more goodies! Join in seconds via this page.

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.

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Exploration points for the areas of knowledge

The exploration points enable students to develop a deeper understanding of knowledge & the knower via extensive additional media sources and unpacking suggestions, links to TED talks, guidance on how to draw on the 12 key concepts of TOK, and other features. Join us to gain access!

View our video on the using the BQ framework

We’ve made a series of short videos about theoryofknowledge.net’s history, aims, and approach to TOK. This one runs briefly over the BQ framework, and how its structure provides you with an engaging way of delivering the course, effective preparation for the two assessment tasks, and a format that allows genuine integration with the rest of the DP.

Find more videos on teaching TOK here (particularly about the issue of DP integration), and subscribe to our YouTube channel, where you’ll find a fantastic range of videos covering key concepts related to TOK.