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:
What counts as evidence for X?
How do we judge which is the best model of Y?
What does theory Z mean in the real world?
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.
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:
reflect critically on diverse ways of knowing and on areas of knowledge
consider the role and nature of knowledge in their own culture, in the cultures of others and in the wider world.
In addition, TOK prompts students to:
be aware of themselves as thinkers, encouraging them to become more acquainted with the complexity of knowledge
recognize the need to act responsibly in an increasingly interconnected but uncertain world.
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.
Questions regarding TOK should be directed to Dave Nichols (email@example.com) or Stephen Hlawaty (firstname.lastname@example.org), PHS Theory of Knowledge Teachers