The Theory of Knowledge (TOK) program is central to the educational philosophy of the International Baccalaureate. It challenges students to reflect critically on diverse ways of knowing and areas of knowledge. Also, students consider, through critical questioning, considering the role which knowledge plays in a global society. It encourages students to become aware of themselves as thinkers, to become aware of the complexity of knowledge, and to recognize the need to act responsibly in an increasingly interconnected world.
As a thoughtful and purposeful inquiry into different ways of knowing, and into different kinds of knowledge, the TOK program is composed almost entirely of questions. The most central of these questions is “How do I, or how do we, know that a given assertion is true, or a given judgment is well grounded?” Assertions or judgments of this sort are termed “knowledge claims”, while the difficulties that arise in addressing these questions are the broad areas known as the “problems of knowledge”. The program entails the application of this central question to many different, yet interrelated topics.
The interconnectivity of all the subjects within the IB hexagon will be apparent and emphasized in the TOK classroom. Students will apply the concepts and philosophies of TOK within the subject area classrooms as well, working with subject area teachers to apply questioning patters to individual subject areas as “areas of knowledge.”