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Marketing TOK to Parents
Given that TOK is one of the unique elements of the IB Diploma, getting parents on board with TOK is a major way of selling the whole of the programme to them. When the stress and demands of the second year kick in, it’s vitally important that parents believe in what their children are doing, in order to support them and spur them on. During any open day or evening to introduce the DP, therefore, TOK should play a starring role.
We’ve already sung the virtues of TOK extensively, so all we’ll do here is summarise six of the “unique selling points” of the course, with links to where they are discussed in more detail.
- 1.It helps tie the DP together. TOK ties together everything, by getting students to question the source and value of the knowledge they deal with, and this creates a much more integrated programme than other programmes in which subjects are studied in isolation.
- 2.It’s a great preparation for the future. As mentioned above, there’s no better preparation for high school students who are about to enter the ‘post-truth’ world.
- 3.Universities are impressed by it. More specifically that just preparing students for the future, the fact that TOK encourages critical thinking, autonomous learning, and a realisation that there are many routes towards producing knowledge means they’ll be viewed in a very favourable light by universities.
- 4.It provides a link to essential ideas and thinkers. From Socrates to Schopenhauer, from Mill to Mitchell, from Kant to Kahlo, there’s no end of brilliant thinkers and ideas to ensure that students receive a ‘complete’ education.
- 5.It connects students to events and issues. Students learn to analyse contemporary real-life situations, using them both as a source of knowledge, and a way of supporting their ideas.
- 6.Students love it. If delivered properly, TOK will engage, intrigue, inspire, and quite possibly infuriate students. TOK classes are typically alive with debate, passion, and wonder. And, isn’t this the point of education?