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TOK Presentations

From moral relativism to self-driving cars, celebrity culture to global warming, the final Theory of Knowledge (TOK) presentations, which are taking place this week, have covered a diverse range of compelling and sometimes controversial topics.

A Core Subject of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, TOK is about developing critical thinking skills by exploring the ways that we gain knowledge and the way knowledge is organised in different disciplines. Director of the IB Academy at NAIS Pudong, Mr Bevan Graham, explains further, “TOK teaches students how to evaluate knowledge claims and then make an informed decision about what they will accept and what they will reject. It also teaches them how to justify what they claim to know.”

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The TOK presentations are the culmination of 15 months of classroom preparation and discussion, plus a final six weeks of targeted preparation time. To fulfill the requirements of the assessment, students must choose a real-life situation or scenario, and then unpack it to identify the underlying issues about the knowledge attached to it. Based on that process, students must then form a “knowledge question” which becomes the basis for their final presentation in which they must explore and develop arguments.

Mr Graham says the standard of presentations so far has been outstanding. He says, “The students have obviously worked very seriously on these presentations and really displayed the attributes of the IB learner profile.”

The next step for the students is the TOK essay which requires them to write on a given prompt.