Who are we?
Michael Dunn, MA
theoryofknowledge.net was conceived and created by Michael Dunn in 2009. He was fed up with students solely exploring TOK using textbooks that, although undoubtedly well-written and up-to-date when created, soon lost their relevance and impact upon publication, particularly in terms of real life situations. He also felt that such a special course should be accessible to anyone who is interested in how we think and what we do with knowledge, not just those lucky enough to be studying in an IB Diploma school.
Michael went to school in Cambridge, university at Edinburgh, where he majored in history, and was awarded an MA with honours. He did his PGCE at Exeter University, spending his first couple of years as a teacher in London. Then he moved abroad, and worked in top international schools in Latin America for the next decade.
Living and working in the most famous centre of learning in the world is an inspiring place to be for anyone involved in education
He returned to Cambridge in 2011, and built up theoryofknowledge.net for four years, collaborating with Cambridge University Press on written and video blogs, resource development, and in-school seminars and workshops for students and teachers. Living and working in the most famous centre of learning in the world is an inspiring place to be for anyone involved in education, which perhaps helps to explain why theoryofknowledge.net continues to be so innovative. He returned to teaching in 2016 (He is currently TOK Coordinator and Head of Form VI at Newton College, Lima, Perú), but continues to run the site, and produce new teaching and learning resources for TOK.
Michael is now dedicatated to revolutionising not just resources for TOK, but also our conception of how to structure and deliver the course itself. With the development of the ‘8 Big Questions‘, he has created a completely new approach to TOK, which takes teachers away from the shopping list mentality of moving through course via the ways of knowing and areas of knowledge. You can find out more, and download sample lesson resources, here.
Ned Riley, MA
Ned was an award winning student of History, graduating top of the class of 2004 from Cardiff University, and winning the Dr A. G. Little Prize for Best Final Year History Student and the Ursula Henriques Prize for Best Final Year Student in Modern British History. He completed his MA in History in 2006, for which he gained a distinction, before completing his PGCE at UWE, in 2009.
Ned joined Newton College, Lima, Perú, as a History teacher in 2011. Fast forward five years and he is now Head of Humanities, overseeing the implementation of the new MYP and DP curriculums in History, Geography, Economics and World Religion. He is also a History Examiner, a trainee school appraiser for the Latin American Heads Conference, and a member of Peru Impact Lab, the region´s first cohort of Google Educators. When not helping to change the face of education, he is generally to be found on his balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with his wife Amy, and their 8 month old son, Rafael.
Carolina Vasquez Sandoval
Assisting Michael with the running of theoryofknowledge.net is Carolina Vasquez. A former PYP teaching assistant, she advises on design and usability, oversees subscription lists and databases, helps with Spanish translations, and helps to ensure that emails and cries for help from students and teachers receive a response. She also has the dubious honour of being Michael’s wife.
Helping to oversee the technical side of the site is the brilliantly creative and fearsomely cool Ilich Ibarra, a Peruvian artist and designer living in Paris. Ilich is a WordPress guru, and designs websites for all kinds of organizations, and would be more than happy to help you transform the way in which the world views your school. You can find out more about his design work and range of services on his website.