12 key TOK concepts
The key concepts are 12 ideas of particular significance that provide us with an effective way of scaffolding thoughts about the course and its relationship with the real world, and help us integrate TOK with the rest of the DP.
Faculty member can explore the 12 key concepts via two sets of padlets, which we update every month by adding new media sources.
What are the 12 key concepts?
The 12 key concepts are ones that have been identified as having a particular significant relationship to knowledge. Understanding, exploring, and using these concepts will help students to understand the way knowledge is produced and used, within all the different elements of the TOK course – the core and optional themes, and the areas of knowledge. The 12 key concepts are: certainty, culture, evidence, explanation, interpretation, justification, objectivity, perspective, power, responsibility, truth, values.
Students should also refer to them as much as possible in the two TOK assessment tasks. We’ve identified related exhibition prompts (IAPs) for each key concept, and indicated how they connect. Finally, they are also very useful to us when integrating TOK with the rest of the DP, and below you’ll find links to help non-TOK teachers use these concepts in their own classrooms.
The 12 key concept padlets (available to faculty members only)
Faculty members of the site can access our key concept padlets, which offers access to the 12 concepts by both concept, and by aspect of the course (ie themes and AOKs). Check back every month – because we constantly update and add to this resource!
The 12 key concept Google docs (available to faculty & limited access members)
Download our free key concept banner
Using the 12 key concepts in other DP subjects
Members also have access to our DP integration tool, which includes support for non-TOK teachers to draw on the key concepts for all of the individual subjects. See how this works for history by following this link, or clicking on the image. To access the whole resource, become a member of the site.
Set up an key concept workshop
The key concepts form a great focal point for workshops for TOK teachers, non-TOK teachers, and for students. You can choose one or two concepts to explore in depth, or we can help you compare and contrast all twelve of them.