Course of Study

[course outline] [nature of the subject] [aims and objectives] [evaluation]

Course Outline
Unit 1: Knowledge and Beliefs
Unit 2: Mathematics
Unit 3: Natural Sciences
Unit 4: Human Sciences, Intuition & History
Unit 5: Logic and Reason
Unit 6: Language & Indigenous Knowledge
Unit 7: Ethics and Politics
Unit 8: Perception, Memory & Emotion
Unit 9: IB Essay and Presentation


Nature of the Subject

The Theory of Knowledge (ToK) programme is central to the educational philosophy of the International Baccalaureate. It challenges students and their teachers to reflect critically on diverse ways of knowing and areas of knowledge, and to consider the role which knowledge plays in a global society. It encourages students to become aware of themselves as thinkers, to become aware of the complexity of knowledge, and to recognize the need to act responsibly in an increasingly interconnected world.

As a thoughtful and purposeful enquiry into different ways of knowing, and into different kinds of knowledge, the ToK programme is composed almost entirely of questions.

The most central of these questions is, 'How do we know that a given assertion is well grounded?' Assertions or judgements of this sort are termed 'Knowledge Claims'.

Difficulties that arise within or across subject areas are called 'Knowledge Questions'.

To guide students, the course divides up into three categories:

1. Knowers
2. Ways of Knowing
3. Areas of Knowledge


Aims and Objectives


The aims of ToK are to engage students in reflection on, and in the questioning of, the bases of knowledge, so that they:

* develop an understanding of why critically examining knowledge claims is important
* develop a critical capacity to evaluate beliefs and knowledge claims.
* Make interdisciplinary connections
* Become aware of the interpretative nature of knowledge including personal and ideological biases
* consider that knowledge may place responsibilities on the knower
* understand the strengths and limitations of individual and cultural perspectives
* develop a concern for rigour in formulating knowledge claims, and intellectual honesty


Having followed the ToK course, candidtaes should be able to:

* demonstrate the strengths and limitations of various Ways of Knowing and of the methods used in the different Areas of Knowledge
* demonstrate a capacity to reason critically
* make connections between and across Ways of Knowing and Areas of Knowledge
* demonstrate an understanding of knowledge at work in the world
* identify values underlying judgements and knowledge claims pertinent to local and global issues
* demonstrate an understanding that personal views, judgements and beliefs may influence their own knowledge claims and those of others
* use oral and written language to formulate and communicate ideas clearly



The course has two separate components.

For the Ontario course code HZT 4UE:

Using: Tests, practical assignments, class presentations, personal assignments (70%) and a final evaluation (30%)

Strands: Metaphysics, Logic & the Philosophy of Science, Epistemology, Ethics, Social & Political Philosophy, Aesthetics, Research & Inquiry Skills


For The International Baccalaureate:

Part 1 - External Assessment (40 points)
Essay (1200 - 1600 words) on prescribed title chosen from a list provided every year by IBO.
(This will be written in the IB2 year)

Part 2 - Internal Assessment (20 points)
An original presentation on a topic of mutual agreement approximately 10 minutes per candidate and also complete a self-evaluation form from Vade Mecum. (This is the same as the IB Presentation, which is the final evaluation)