TOK workshops

When delivered properly, theory of knowledge offers a genuinely life-changing experience for everyone involved in it. theoryofknowledge.net’s creator, Michael Dunn, has visited schools all over the world to help promote this message and help TOK departments to achieve this.

Passion and purpose

Michael has more than two decades of experience as a classroom teacher, and is intimately acquainted with the challenges of delivering a concept-rich course to students – often in their second language. His workshops are clear, practical, and jargon-free, and will engage and inspire students and teachers. His workshops convey the passion he feels for TOK, and instill a clear awareness of the purpose and aims of the course, and the advantages it gives anyone who is studying it. Attendees take home a concrete range of ideas and strategies that have a measurable impact on how they teach or learn TOK.

Michael delivering a teacher workshop to 11 different schools in Doha for the Gulf English School

Bespoke, not one-size-fits-all, workshops

Michael has sat through his fair share of workshops delivered by well-meaning educators, who nevertheless dig out the same presentation for every school they visit. In contrast, theoryofknowledge.net workshops are based on the fact that every school and set of students is different, so each of our workshops is prepared on a bespoke basis to meet a school’s specific TOK needs. We can introduce, consolidate, or stretch the skills and understanding of the course possessed by your learning community. Find out more here.

Workshop content and style

Our workshops for teachers and students are based around modules, each one lasting around 2 hours. Modules can cover a broad or a specific aspect of the course, such as how to oversee the TOK essay, making the transition to the new syllabus, exploring the 12 key concepts of TOK, or creating a great TOK exhibition.

Click on the image to the right to see a list of exemplar modules, that you can use to identify what would work in your school.

All our workshops are media-rich and highly interactive, and teachers are expected to carry out tasks and activities to the same degree as students. Extensive online materials are provided before, during, and after workshops, and we’re more than happy to respond to follow-up questions via email after the workshop has been delivered.

We also encourage schools in a city or region to team up and attend our workshops, just like we did during our most recent workshop in Qatar, where we worked with teachers and students from eight different international schools – some coming to TOK for the first time; others with much more experience. Michael is just as comfortable delivering a workshop for a handful of teachers in a small classroom, as he is for an assembly hall filled with 100 students. modules.

60 Minute online orientations

Our shortest workshops are our 60 minute online orientations. These guide new members through the overall rationale of the site, where to find all the different resources, and how to use them to best effect in the classroom. They also give you the chance to ask any questions you may have about how best to deliver the TOK course, and integrate it with the rest of the DP.

Previous workshops

Michael delivering a student workshop to 11 different schools in Doha for the Gulf English School

January 2020, GULF ENGLISH SCHOOL, DOHA. A whole-day workshop for TOK teams from 11 different schools in Qatar, outlining how to create a great department, instill passion in your students, and adapt to the new syllabus changes for TOK. This was followed by a morning session for students from different schools in the same city, asking them to assess the importance and usefulness of TOK.

January 2019, UNITED WORLD COLLEGE, MAASTRICHT. A whole-day workshop for the TOK team at UWC Maastricht, on the most effective ways to motivate and inspire studnets, followed by two seminars with the whole DP1 cohort on the point of TOK, and what distinguishes a great critical-thinker.

January 2019, ST EDWARD’S SCHOOL, OXFORD. A half-day workshop, involving sessions on how to deliver an effective TOK course, and integrate it with the rest of the IB Diploma.

April 2018, BRITISH SCHOOL OF MANILA. An online workshop introducing the Big Question framework, and fielding questions regarding how to adapt to this way of delivering the course.

February 2018, INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF LUXEMBOURG. A follow-up workshop, consolidating the 8BQ approach with ISL’s TOK team (whole day), followed by a morning session with their students on the TOK presentation.

January 2018, INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF PARIS. A whole-day workshop, involving two sessions for non-TOK teachers on how to incorporate TOK in their lessons, one session for TOK teachers on the 8 Big Questions, and a final session for students on the nature of TOK, and why we do it.

November 2017, NEWTON COLLEGE, LIMA. A two-hour workshop on ‘Rebooting TOK’ for seven different DP schools in Lima, explaining the BQ framework, and why this is represents a superior way of delivering the course compared to the traditional approach.

January 2017, INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF LUXEMBOURG. A whole-day workshop for the 12 person TOK team at ISL on how to restructure their course based on the 8 ‘Big Questions’, and the type of TOK lessons this produces + a 2-hour seminar for their Year 11 cohort (approx. 100 students) on the purpose and importance of TOK, and linking TOK skills to the presentation.

Michael with the TOK team at ISL

January 2016, YAMANASHI GAKUIN HIGH SCHOOL, KOFU. A series of online consultations aiding the design and delivery of a pre-TOK critical thinking course for Y11 students.

January 2016, STEPHEN PERSE FOUNDATION, CAMBRIDGE. In association with Cambridge University Press, teacher workshop (for IB and non-IB schools in the region) on placing critical thinking at the heart of the learning experience.

December 2015, ST EDMUND’S COLLEGE, HERTFORDSHIRE. Teacher workshop on ‘We’re All TOK Teachers’ + student workshop on ‘Think Different’.

November 2015, EYÜBOGLU EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, ISTANBUL In Association with Cambridge University Press, Key note speech at the 14th Annual International Students’ ToK Youth and Culture Conference.

November 2015, ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS ACADEMY, BIRMINGHAM. Teacher workshop on ‘Putting TOK at the Heart of the IB Diploma’ + student seminar on ‘Mastering the TOK Essay’ and ‘It’s Good to Be Confused’.

August 2015, NESIBE AYDIN COLLEGE, ANKARA. An association with Cambridge University Press, teacher workshop on ‘Putting TOK at the Heart of the IB Diploma’ for multiple international schools in Turkey.

June 2015, ST JULIAN’S SCHOOL, LISBON. A whole day TOK student seminar for five of the international schools in Lisbon.

Comments on our workshops

As well as the hugely positive reviews of our workshops, 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.

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

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

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

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

As an IBDP coordinator who has attended your workshop at Nesibe Ayd?n Schools in Ankara, I would like to thank you for the great ideas you have shared with us.
Müge Özgönül, IBDP & CAS Coordinator, Eyübo?lu 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

About Michael

theoryofknowledge.net is the world’s most popular online resource for TOK, attracting over one million hits every year, and thousands of readers of the every month.

The site’s creator, Michael Dunn, is one of the world’s highest profile TOK educators, and with his Big Question framework and DP Integration Tool has done more than anyone else to reboot the delivery of the course. Schools in more than 100 countries are members of the site, and use his approach to teach TOK.

Book a TOK workshop

Download our workshop fees here. Note that any school signing up for a three-module workshop receives a free year’s Full Access membership to the site. We also offer state-funded schools a 10% discount on our fees.

Feel free to ask any question, request any form of support, and enquire about any type of workshop activity by emailing us at support@theoryofknowledge.net, or by using the form below. We’ll get back to you very quickly.