6BQ framework

TOK via the BQ framework

The BQ framework comprises 6 different units, each one exploring a ‘big question’. It’s a more conceptual approach to TOK than the traditional route, enabling you to integrate the course with the DP in a more meaningful way.

All the lessons have been fully updated for 2023-24, with new presentations in each unit inviting students to think about the relationship between AI tools and knowledge, and suggestions in many of the lessons on using ChatGPT to carry out learning tasks.

Fully-updated TOK resources for the ChatGPT world

TOK is a highly practical course, providing students with a set of skills, a mindset, and a conceptual framework designed to be applied to today’s world. But given how quickly society changes, ensuring your course remains relevant and engaging is a big challenge, and not one that can be met by static resources.

We have updated and edited all our lessons for the 2023-24 academic year, to ensure they are driven by the very latest real-world events and issues. And responding to the IB’s position on the use of AI-tools in schools, our lessons now feature extensive activities and questions focused on ChatGPT, to help students use it effectively and ethically, and think about the relationship between AI-tools and the acquisition of knowledge.

Accessing the BQ lessons

Big Question 1

BQ1 asks, “What is TOK, and why do we study it?” It looks at both the fundamentals of the course, and of knowledge itself. We consider most aspects of the course, paying particular attention to the core theme, knowledge and the knower. Access the BQ1 lessons here.

Big Question 2

BQ2 asks, “How does our knowledge about the world inform the way we construct our values?” It considers the relationship between the different AOKs and optional themes, and ethics. It looks at the arts, the natural sciences, and indigenous societies. Access the BQ2 lessons here.

Big Question 3

BQ3 asks, “How is our understanding of the world influenced by the way knowledge is communicated?” Our primary focus is on human sciences; we’ll also look at how both technology and language can shift our understanding. Access the BQ3 lessons here.

Big Question 4

BQ4 asks, “How do our perspectives and biases shape our knowledge about the world?” It looks at how we often seek to confirm our pre-existing ideas. History is the main focus, but we also think about the effect of religious and political perspectives. Access the BQ4 lessons here.

Big Question 5

BQ5 asks, “How is new knowledge about the world created?” It assesses how and why knowledge about the world changes over time. We’ll consider if language is being ‘dumbed down’, how science is provisional, and changes in the arts. Access the BQ5 lessons here.

Big Question 6

BQ6 asks, “How do we become discerning knowers?” It looks at what it takes to become a sophisticated knower about the world. Students revisit various lessons from earlier in the course, and develop a deeper understanding of their key concepts. Access the BQ6 lessons here.

Managing the BQ course

BQ management page

Our BQ management page gives you a sample scheme of work, unit outlines, an index of ideas and thinkers, ManageBac unit planners, support material for each BQ unit, advice on using Google Classroom, and guidance on how to deliver a course that integrates with the rest of the DP. Find out more here.

TOK assessment lessons

Our lessons for the exhibition and essay are embedded in the different BQ units, but you can also access them directly from this page of the site. We offer support for the skills they assess, and practice assessment tasks to help students develop these skills. Find out more here.

TOK for parents

Education works better when parents are involved. They can encourage their children, help clarify concepts, and draw on their own experiences to highlight the relevance of learning in real-world contexts. Access our resource that helps parents take part in the brilliant TOK course here.

Develop your students’ authentic critical thinking

Our in-school & online workshops are engaging, inspiring, and jargon-free, and leave TOK and non-TOK teachers with practical takeaways that they can implement easily in their classrooms.

We can help you with a wide range of issues and topics related to the TOK course, and help you turn your students into authentic critical thinkers who make sense of the world in a nuanced and objective way. Find out more and book a session here.