Washburn students who plan to be IB Diploma or WHS Medallion Candidates must take Theory of Knowledge.
Theory of knowledge (TOK) plays a special role in the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP), by providing an opportunity for students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, and on how we know what we claim to know.
It is one of the components of the DP core and is mandatory for all diploma students. The TOK requirement is central to the educational philosophy of the DP.
How is TOK structured?
As a thoughtful and purposeful inquiry into different ways of knowing, and into different kinds of knowledge, TOK is composed almost entirely of questions.
The most central of these is "How do we know?", while other questions include:
Through discussions of these and other questions, students gain greater awareness of their personal and ideological assumptions, as well as developing an appreciation of the diversity and richness of cultural perspectives.
Assessment of TOK
The TOK course is assessed through an oral presentation and a 1600 word essay. The presentation assesses the ability of the student to apply TOK thinking to a real-life situation, while the essay takes a more conceptual starting point. For example, the essay may ask students to discuss the claim that the methodologies used to produce knowledge depend on the use to which that knowledge will be used.
What is the significance of TOK?
TOK aims to make students aware of the interpretative nature of knowledge, including personal ideological biases – whether these biases are retained, revised or rejected. It offers students and their teachers the opportunity to:
TOK also provides coherence for the student, by linking academic subject areas as well as transcending them. It therefore demonstrates the ways in which the student can apply their knowledge with greater awareness and credibility.
IB Courses Offered at Washburn
Earning the IB Diploma
Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS)
Extended Essay (EE)
Theory of Knowledge
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