Teaching theory of knowledge


Teaching theory of knowledge for the first time seems like a massive ask. There’s no clear examined curriculum; it’s mandatory, so students in your classroom are there because they have to be, rather than because they’ve chosen to be; TOK itself is nebulous – is it philosophy? Critical thinking? Content-based or skills-based? Centred on the arts or the sciences?


Uncertainty brings potential

As the best TOK teachers always discover, though, the massive ask quickly becomes a massive opportunity. The fact that there’s no clear examined curriculum means you can cherry pick an array of fascinating topics that play to both your strengths and those of your students. The fact that all students have to do it means that you have to hand a much broader range of expertise and interests to draw on. And the nature of TOK is a fantastic of all those things – philosophy, critical thinking, content and skills, arts and sciences – plus a great deal more.
In fact, being given responsibility for TOK is akin to winning the lottery for a teacher. TOK is a dynamic course which you can build yourself, it’s one that tests, teases, and challenges the students, and it genuinely presents them (and you) with the opportunity to have life-changing experiences in (and out) of the classroom. The only danger is that it will take over your life, and you’ll begin to see TOK in every experience you have!

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