Knowledge framework for history
The ‘knowledge framework’ is designed to help students explore, discuss, and form an understanding of each of the eight areas of knowledge. The knowledge framework isn’t a formal element of the TOK essay or presentation (ie, it isn’t directly assessed); instead, it is designed to present various consideration points that that can then be used to compare and contrast the different areas of knowledge, as well as tying them to the ways of knowing.
1. Scope and applications
What is the social function of history? How many different forms does it encompass (eg archaeology, social and cultural history, political history, etc.)? What are their separate aims? To what extent is history influenced by the society and culture in which it is pursued? How important is history?
2. Concepts and language
How do we use language to express the knowledge found within history? To what extent does this differ according to different forms of history? Are there any central concepts for which we need specific language before approaching human sciences?
Which ways of knowing do we use in order to connect with, and understand, history? Which ways of knowing do the historians themselves use in order to study history and communicate their understanding of it?
4. Historical development
How has our understanding and perception of history changed over time? How has the role of history within society developed? To what extent has the nature of history (for example, the different forms of human sciences) changed? What relationship do today’s human sciences have with those of the past? (to paraphrase Newton, do they ‘stand on the shoulders of giants’?)
5. Links to personal knowledge
To what extent are you involved with history? How is your perception of the world, and your position it in, affected by history?