Theory of Knowledge

“ Positivism Is A Theory Of Knowledge According To Which The Only Kind Of Sound Knowledge Available To Human Kind Is That If Science Grounded In Observation.”

Auguste Comte

A core requirement of the IB Programme, the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is an interdisciplinary course intended to stimulate critical reflection on the nature and acquisition of different Areas of Knowledge (AoK) and different Ways of Knowing (WoK).

The course challenges students to question the bases of knowledge, to be aware of subjective and ideological biases and to develop the ability to analyse evidence. TOK is a key IBDP subject which helps students to appreciate different cultural perspectives and to develop ‘inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young individuals’ with ‘intercultural understanding and respect’ as clearly espoused in the IB mission statement.

Discussion forms the backbone of the TOK course. TOK Teachers mainly assume the role of a facilitator. Students are invited to consider knowledge questions against the backdrop of their experiences of knowledge in their other Diploma Programme subjects but also in relation to the practical experiences offered by CAS and the formal research that takes place for the extended essay. The experiences of the student outside school also have a role to play in these discussions, although TOK seeks to strike a balance between the shared and personal aspects of knowledge.


Assessment component
Internal assessmentWeighting
Theory of Knowledge exhibition (10 marks)

For this component, students are required to create an exhibition that explores how TOK manifests in the world around us. This component is internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IB at the end of the course.
1/3 (33%)
External AssessmentWeighting
TOK essay on a prescribed title (10 marks)

For this component, students are required to write an essay in response to one of the six prescribed titles that are issued by the IB for each examination session. As an external assessment component, it is marked by IB examiners.
2/3 (67%)