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Let’s talk about Knowledge

12 November 2014

At the very core of the International Baccalaureate (IB) alongside the Extended Essay and Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) is Theory of Knowledge (TOK), an intensive course into understanding the nature of what is knowledge.

  • Regents International School Pattaya IB Centre
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  • Regents International School Pattaya IB Centre
  • International Baccalaureate IB Diploma Students at Regents International School Pattaya
  • International Baccalaureate Students at Regents International School Pattaya

Covering many areas from memory to reason, emotion, sense perception and language, and challenging the students to inquire into different ways of knowing as well as different kinds of knowledge, TOK is composed almost entirely of questions, the most central one being "How do we know?" The course, combined with the Extended Essay, can award students up to three points of their IB Diploma score, thus possibly making a difference when applying to a high attaining university.

These last two weekends the IB (International Baccalaureate) Diploma students at Regents International School Pattaya have been undertaking the first part of their assessment in this subject, a 10-15 presentation on an area of their choice. Finding inspiration by choosing a ‘Real Life Situation’ ranging from the pitfalls of DNA in prosecution through to students being inspired by films such as ‘My Sister’s Keeper’, the students then had to formulate a knowledge question, building the foundation for their subsequent argumentation. What role does language play in shaping an identity? How far does faith influence the acquisition/ acceptance of knowledge in history and the natural sciences? To what extent does the methodology of different areas of knowledge provide us with definitive answers? These are just some of the questions the students chose for their presentations.

Many students were extremely nervous having to stand up in front of their peers to present a complicated presentation. Ksenia in Year 13 commented: “At first I didn’t want to do it as I was so nervous, but now I have completed it I found I really enjoyed it. I could do it all over again.”

The IB team at Regents is pleased to announce that the students this year excelled in their presentations with almost 80% of the students achieving an A (Level 5/Excellent) or B (Level 4/Very good).

In the coming weeks, the students have to complete a 1600 word essay on a preset question from the exam board. As TOK coordinator at Regents International School Pattaya, I would like to wish them the very best of luck in the forthcoming essay.

Liam Steele – TOK Coordinator