Purpose of TOK

Why TOK is often referring to as the 'flagship' course of the DP

Although Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is commonly referred to as a ‘critical thinking’ course, TOK is much more than that. It’s certainly true that one of its key aims is to get you to question the sources of knowledge that we use from the Internet to the opinions of your teachers and from your course textbooks to the assertions of experts and academics.

Image: Gothe, Patrik. Unsplash, 2014.

TOK is also a course that encourages you to:

  • be creative and original

  • increase your awareness that there are many (very) different ways to investigate and understand the world

  • hone your ability to communicate your ideas and opinions

  • engage with issues and controversies raging throughout the contemporary world

All of this means that you’re set for what can be a rocky ride!

As you debate the legitimacy of different perspectives and points of view, as you assess the validity of arguments and counterarguments, as you consider the methods by which you acquire knowledge in your different Diploma Programme (DP) subjects, you will clash with your classmates and lock horns with your teachers.

But, in the process, you’re going to develop and advance your own understanding of the world, and learn a great deal about yourself. And you’ll learn the truth of Maria Mitchell’s assertion,

"We have a hunger of the mind which asks for knowledge of all around us, and the more we gain, the more is our desire; the more we see, the more we are capable of seeing."