Elements of TOK

Areas of Knowledge

These correspond roughly to subjects studied in school or, more broadly, ‘things we can know about’.

Mathematics
Logic
Natural sciences
Social or human sciences
History
The arts
Ethics
Religion

Ways of Knowing

The ‘Ways of Knowing’ concern not what we know, but the means by which we might know something: how we know. Among the possibilities given in the course guide, we have chosen to focus on these four:

Language
Sense Perception
Emotion
Reason
Inductive reasoning
Deductive reasoning
Logical fallacies

Linking Questions

These are issues that require us to use both the ‘Areas of Knowledge’ and the ‘Ways of Knowing’.

Belief
Certainty
Culture
Evidence
Interpretation
Intuition
Technology
Truth
Values

Assessment

1. Essay on a prescribed title (67% of final grade)

Students choose one of the essay titles prescribed for their year-group and write a 1200-1600 word essay in response. Students should refer to two ‘Areas of Knowledge’ and one ‘Way of Knowing’ in their essay.

2. Oral presentation (33% of final grade)

Students choose their own topic concerning a ‘real world’ problem that raises issues of knowledge and belief. Students are expected to demonstrate mastery of the ‘knowledge issues’ that are relevant to their topic and show an ability to view the problem from more than one point of view.

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