Most have accepted this knowledge with question. For many it is the first time they have been asked to evaluate the difference between fact, opinion and belief. What should be believed on social media? How does technology change the way knowledge is communicated? What community of knowers am I a part of?
These are just a few of the questions explored over two years. TOK is a required class that all Grade 11 and Grade 12 students must pass if they wish to achieve the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma.
Every 6 to 8 years the IB puts out a new guide (a syllabus) for all of their Diploma Programme courses. This year we are implementing the new guide for TOK and it has some major changes from the previous iteration. As is usually the case with a new syllabus, some things have been taken out, and others have been added. A major adjustment in the new guide, and one that is of paramount importance to the students as well as their educators, is the removal of the TOK Presentation assessment and its replacement with the TOK Exhibition.
The TOK Presentation presented the students’ with an opportunity to explore the link between TOK and the real world. The new TOK Exhibition also gives the students an opportunity to do this, but in a new and unique way.
The Presentation was usually completed in pairs, as an exploration of a Real Life Situation (RLS) which asked the students to create a Knowledge Question (KQ) and explore this question using TOK thinking. A form was used by the IB to moderate the work of the students.
Now, under the new guide, the students are asked to choose 3 objects and make connections between them and a statement related to knowledge. They are required to write approximately 300 words about each object and its connection to a KQ provided by the IB. Here are some examples of the 35 statements available for the students to connect their object to.