The Theory of Knowledge (ToK) component is at the core of the IB programme, for its nature is interdisciplinary and encourages pupils to give consideration to how things can be known within and beyond all the main IB disciplines. ToK seeks to transcend and unify the academic areas, and to encourage a broad appreciation of cultural perspectives.
At the very centre of the course is the notion of the ‘pupil as knower’ and pupils are trained to identify and investigate actively and critically the nature of knowledge claims, examining them rigorously and giving consideration to every angle of enquiry. The pupil is guided towards refining their understanding of the criteria by which such knowledge claims are held to be true and will work independently and collaboratively, striving to resolve (within the context of real-world examples) such questions as:
- how can this be known?
- what are the consequences of holding this to be true?
- how certain can I be of the truth of this?
- what counts as knowledge?
- how does knowledge grow?
- what are its limits?
- who owns knowledge?
Through the ToK course it is hoped pupils will develop a fascination with knowledge and develop the habit of personal, reflective exploration. ToK endeavours to build confidence through assisting the learner to understand the connections between the disciplines and between thought, feeling and action.