This website provides information and resources for IB DP Theory of Knowledge (TOK).  

There are regulars posts on the current set of TOK Essay Prescribed Titles with a discussion of specific examples.

What is TOK?

According to the IB TOK Subject Guide, “TOK is a course about critical thinking and inquiring into the process of knowing, rather than about learning a specific body of knowledge” (IBO 8).

Perhaps the easiest way to understand TOK is to so compare what you do in a DP subject class versus how what you do in TOK class.

In a DP literature / language and literature class you will

  • Study the characteristics of different genres, text types, authors, etc.
  • Identify and analyze themes and stylistic features with in a text
  • Evaluate the author’s use of language
  • Understand how historical, cultural, social context influenced the creation of a text
  • Compare and contrast your interpretation and analysis of the text with others

In your TOK class you may also look some of the same topics and perhaps even the same texts that you studied in your DP subject class. The focus in TOK, however, will be quite different:

  • You might look at a poem about WWII and discuss how readers of different nationalities or genders are affected by the language in different ways.

Many (if not all) of your DP subjects will come up in TOK class:

  • You might discuss the use and effects of statistical and visual evidence in the study of history.
  • You might look at the role competition between businesses plays in the development of knowledge.
  • You might analyze how politician use language to convey certain ideas to audiences.
  • You might compare and contrast how knowledge is shared in the sciences and the arts.

Another focus of TOK is self-analysis and awareness. By the end of TOK you should be much more aware of how your own background , preferences, and beliefs affect what and how you learn.

Works Cited: International Baccalaureate Organization. Theory of knowledge Guide. Cardiff 2015