TOK & critical thinking workshops

TOK provides educators with a fantastic opportunity to craft a brilliant intellectual experience for learners. You have carte blanche to introduce learners to genuinely life-changing ideas, thinkers, and situations, and help students become positive and fulfilled members of the epistemic community.

Every lesson should challenge students’ biases and assumptions, and help them construct a more comprehensive picture of reality. Our workshops have helped dozens of schools all over the world to achieve this, via engaging and jargon-free sessions that give teachers practical takeaways that can be implemented easily in the classroom.

How do our workshops help teachers & learners?

We offer a lot of different types of workshops for teachers and learners. There are the more traditional ones, in which we help students to master the essay and exhibition, and support TOK teams to create a great programme, and provide tips on marketing the course.

But by making authentic critical thinking (ACT) our key pedagogical aim, our PD works for any educator, regardless of the programme and age-group they’re involved with. At their core, our sessions are about enabling you to help your students exit their echo chambers.

Here’s a short video we made while on route to a workshop for Wellington College International in Shanghai. It runs through the different sessions we ran for their students, TOK teams, and ordinary teachers, and gives a clear idea about how we can help you.

You can also see our approach to learning, our passion for critical thinking, and our ability to engage with both teachers and students, from our YouTube channel. Click on the images below to see exemplar sessions, based on successful workshops we’ve run at different schools.

In-school or online? Which is best?

Both in-school and online training workshops offer different advantages. In terms of engagement and interaction, it’s great to be in the same room as participants, and frankly, we love visiting schools! So if you are able to set up an in-school workshop, then this the perfect way of offering training sessions.

Online sessions are many schools’ preferred way of offering training, and we love the ease with which Zoom and other platforms enable us to explore key ideas and strategies for TOK and critical thinking.

Find out more about training sessions from our Exiting Our Echo Chambers workshop brochure. It also gives you information about prices, and how to set up a session.

Alternatively, get in touch with us directly at support@, via the contact form below, or by phone at +44 7402 989341. We will set up an initial Zoom call to discuss what you want your students or teachers to take away from the session, and start designing your bespoke workshop!

How are our workshops shaped by the ACT continuum?

As we discuss on this page, making authentic critical thinking (ACT) your key learning aim makes it easier to conceive of your role as an educator as being part of a bigger, more integrated picture. ACT enables you to link the learning going on in your classroom to the rest of your school, both vertically and horizontally.

Our integration workshops have always been designed with other subject teachers in mind; increasingly, we’re also seeing teachers of other educational programme (such as A-Level), and other levels (down as far as primary) attending our sessions, and taking onboard our authentic critical thinking approach.

Which schools have we’ve worked with?

Jan 2024 JERUDONG INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, BRUNEI. Online workshop for faculty members of their school, helping them to understand the nature of TOK, and how to draw on it in their lessons.

Nov 2023 IŞIK SCHOOLS, ISTANBUL. Our longest ever overseas workshop, lasting five days, and taking place within each of the Isik campuses in Istanbul. We helped DP1 students understand the exhibition, DP2 students with the essay, and TOK teachers with strategies on delivering the course, and integrating it with the rest of the DP. See this short video (posted on LinkedIn) made by the school to outline our work together.

Nov 2023 WELLINGTON COLLEGE INTERNATIONAL, SHANGHAI. In-school workshop for DP 1 & 2 students, the TOK team, and members of the DP and pre-DP faculty.

Nov 2023 CAISL, LISBON. An in-school workshop for DP 1 & 2 students, and the DP faculty.

Oct 2023 ACS SCHOOLS, UK. A four-day in-school workshops for students and teachers in the three ACS schools.

Oct 2023 DARTFORD GRAMMAR SCHOOL, LONDON. In-person workshop for 300 DP2 students, focusing on the TOK essay.

May 2023 ST JOHN’S INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, BELGIUM. In-school workshop for DP teachers, and a session for the TOK team.

Feb 2023 RUGBY SCHOOL, UK. In-school workshop for the whole teaching faculty.

Nov 2022 DARTFORD GRAMMAR SCHOOL, LONDON. In-school workshop for the whole DP team, and a separate session for the TOK team.

Sep 2022 NEWINGTON COLLEGE, SYDNEY. Online essay-writing workshop for DP students.

Sep 2022 ST. THOMAS AQUINAS SCHOOL, OAKVILLE, ONTARIO. Online workshop for DP staff.

Sep 2022 STONYHURST COLLEGE, LANCASHIRE, UK. In-school workshop for DP, A-Level, and GCSE teachers.

Sep 2022 GRESHAM’S SCHOOL, NORFOLK, UK. In-school workshop for DP, A-Level, and GCSE teachers.

Sep 2022 KOÇ SCHOOL, ISTANBUL. Online workshop for 150 DP teachers, and a second workshop for the TOK team.

Aug 2022 WINDHOEK INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, NAMIBIA. Online workshop for DP teachers.

Jun 2022 IŞIK HIGH SCHOOL, ISTANBUL. Online workshop for DP teachers.

Jun 2022 WESTMINSTER ACADEMY, LONDON. A follow-up, in-school workshop, for DP, GCSE, and KS3 teachers.

Apr 2022 SHANGHAI SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL. Online workshop for DP teachers.

May 2022 ANGLO-EUROPEAN SCHOOL, INGATESTONE. In-school workshop for DP, A-Level, GCSE, and KS3 teachers.

Oct 2021 HOCKERILL ANGLO-EUROPEAN COLLEGE, BISHOP’S STORTFORD. In-school workshop for DP1 & DP2 students.

Feb 2021 DPS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, GURGAON. ‘Chief guest’ at the online TOK exhibition day.

Apr 2021 INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF LUXEMBOURG. A follow-up online workshop, for the TOK team.

Jan 2020 GULF ENGLISH SCHOOL, DOHA. 2-day in-school workshops for staff and students from 11 different schools in Qatar.

Jan 2019 ST EDWARD’S SCHOOL, OXFORD. In-school workshop for the TOK team.

Jan 2019, UNITED WORLD COLLEGE, MAASTRICHT. In-school workshops for staff and students.

April 2018 BRITISH SCHOOL OF MANILA. An online workshop for the TOK team.

February 2018 INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF LUXEMBOURG. A follow-up workshop, for the ISL TOK team and DP2 students.

Jan 2018 INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF PARIS. In-school workshop for DP staff and DP2 students.

Nov 2017 NEWTON COLLEGE, LIMA. In-school workshop for TOK teachers from 7 different schools in Lima.

Jan 2016 YAMANASHI GAKUIN HIGH SCHOOL, KOFU. Online consultations for the TOK team.

Nov 2015 EYÜBOGLU EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, ISTANBUL. In-school key note speech, in Association with Cambridge University Press.

Aug 2015 NESIBE AYDIN COLLEGE, ANKARA In-school workshop, in association with Cambridge University Press.

Jan 2017 INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF LUXEMBOURG. In-school workshop for ISL TOK team and DP2 students.

Jan 2016 STEPHEN PERSE FOUNDATION, CAMBRIDGE In-school workshop, in association with Cambridge University Press.

Nov 2015 ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS ACADEMY, BIRMINGHAM. In-school workshop for DP2 students.

Jun 2015 ST JULIAN’S SCHOOL, LISBON. In-school workshop for DP1 students from 5 different schools in Lisbon.

What do people say about our workshops?

As well as the hugely positive reviews of our workshops below, you can also see what people have been saying about our teaching and learning resources, and the support we provide our customers, on this page. Note that all the testimonials were unsolicited – and we very much appreciate our members taking the time to write to us.

Have completed my first week as a TOK teacher. I’ve overheard the students saying ‘So, this is how TOK lessons were supposed to be’, ‘Time passed so quickly!!’ You can imagine how that made me feel. Thanks to your wonderful resources, I am making headway, and enjoying it tremendously. Thank you for being an inspiration.

Jenny Chavush, Işık High School IB Diploma Coordinator

Having a TOK integration workshop with Michael Dunn was the best thing I’ve done as the TOK Coordinator. Michael’s knowledge, enthusiasm and practical tips for the subject were a great inspiration for the whole faculty.

Jana Jackson, TOK Coordinator, Shanghai Singapore International School

We really enjoyed Michael’s workshop, it was great to see the staff so enthused and inspired!

Susannah Porsz, DP Coordinator, Anglo-European School

The Gulf English School was delighted to have Michael present over two full days in January. Michael delivered a teachers workshop to a variety of teachers repressing 11 local schools. The workshop allowed fantastic opportunities for teachers to gain insight into the new TOK course. In addition, the student workshop provided fantastic high quality student engagement through a range of activities. Thank you Michael, for delivering two very successful workshops.

Hannah Cashell, TOK Coordinator, Gulf English School, Doha

Thank you again for spending the days with us; students were buzzing for a while after, and the ToK team appreciated the opportunity to connect, think, and talk ToK. Hope we have a chance to work again in the future.

Dasha Lis, Head of TOK, UWC Maastricht

The feedback I have had from the teacher workshops has been really positive. My colleagues really approached your personable style and found the content engaging. Everyone felt they had an immediate takeaway and a better understanding of TOK generally. We’d love you to come back and do more.

Joanne Perkins, Head of TOK, International School of Paris

I can’t say how thankful we are for your visit. Chatting to the students yesterday showed that they really felt the day helped them to grasp the essential concepts of TOK in a way that had thus far evaded them. Feedback was all positive and many have gone on to plan their final presentations on the back of ideas that came to them during the day.

Kieran Hennigan, Head of TOK at St Julian’s School, Lisbon

Thank you so much for your amazing workshop. To be honest, no-one was looking forward to it after another dispiriting day of online teaching in lock-down… This made it all the more surprising to find it so lively, entertaining and immediately relevant and useful to our teaching. Everyone I’ve spoken to agreed that it is the best PD workshop they remember at our school. 

Simon Jackson, DP film teacher, Shanghai Singapore International School

Thank again for your session last week it was exactly what the students needed.

Dan English, Head of TOK, Dartford Grammar School

Thank you so much for the sessions you led with us, the TOK team is certainly feeling more confident in their teaching of the two assessments of the course and you have given me lots to think about in terms of the way we currently approach TOK.

Charlotte Nicholas, TOK Coordinator, Westminster Academy

Yesterday we had a ToK collaboration meeting, and the feedback from the workshop was fantastic! Everybody was happy… we need people like you!

Dorothee Prendergast, Head of Languages, and TOK, International School of Luxembourg

[The workshop has given] a broader, more complete/intuitive understanding of the course, will certainly improve critical thinking and subject connections. Great ideas for new and innovative practices and approaches to teaching the course. Good preparation with tools, tactics and new ideas. Very helpful. Very practical, and offered concrete ideas on how to approach the course. Terrific opportunity to collaborate and share ideas with the speaker and my colleagues. [This will] Help students how to understand ToK better by improved teaching schedule and lesson structure. The structure of the 8 questions programme makes so much more sense.

Feedback from the ISL teachers, following Michael’s visit to Luxembourg in January 2017

As an IBDP coordinator who has attended your workshop at Nesibe Aydin Schools in Ankara, I would like to thank you for the great ideas you have shared with us.

Müge Özgönül, IBDP & CAS Coordinator, Eyüboglu High School

Thank you so much for delivering your ToK session. Staff were really energised by it!

Tricia Kelleher, Head of School, Stephen Perse Foundation

Thank you very much for the ToK workshop… as a ToK novice, I found it incredibly interesting and reassuring.

Alex Waring, CAS Coordinator, St Edward’s School, Oxford

Set up a workshop

We’ll be happy to answer any question you might have about our TOK training, and set up a workshop for your school.

These might include locations we’re able to travel to, how to decide on a topic for training, details of workshop fees, which members of your learning community we can help, and the pros and cons of in-school vs. online workshops.