Theory of Knowledge (T.O.K.)
T.O.K is about? how we know?
Theory of Knowledge is a special subject offered at the IB Diploma program, which basically covers the different ways the human mind observes, applies and uses the knowledge that we gain throughout life. TOK is divided into two main groups: ways of knowing and areas of knowledge. In ways of knowing we discuss how emotions, language and sense of perception reflects or affects the way we perceive the world around us, whereas in areas of knowledge we talk about the subjects we have e.g. mathematics, natural science, human science, history, art and how they constantly change our knowledge of the world.
Different backgrounds – different perspectives
In TOK classes, we work with different topics, (e.g. ethics language) where we read about it from a text book, answer some questions, and have small group discussions outside class and then have a class discussion where everyone is free to express their personal opinions, ideas and theories about the topic. The most exciting thing about having these discussions in TOK classes, in the IB program, is that the class consists of a lot of people from different parts of the world, with different cultures, backgrounds and traditions. This makes the discussion very interesting and challenging, as one is forced to think in many more different perspectives than just one.
The backbone for the learner profile
Personally, I enjoy our TOK classes, mainly because of the diversity of ideas I get from my fellow students. This has helped me to think more objectively and not always subjectively about a lot of things. I also think this subject is the backbone for the IB program learner profile, i.e. that we are prepared to be open-minded and deep-thinkers.
Jackline Hussein Mshana, 2i