Theory of Knowledge

At ISL, we believe that theory of knowledge (TOK) provides students with the critical thinking skills needed to understand themselves as learners and create the links between their other six subjects and creativity, action and service. We believe strongly that all IB Diploma teachers are teachers of TOK, and it is always a school goal to use TOK to create links through the core of the IB Diploma Hexagon. TOK is taught throughout the whole two years of the IB Diploma.


The aims of the TOK course are for students to:

  • make connections between a critical approach to the construction of knowledge, the academic disciplines and the wider world
  • develop an awareness of how individuals and communities construct knowledge and how this is critically examined
  • develop and interest in the diversity and richness of cultural perspectives and an awareness of personal and ideological assumptions
  • critically reflect on their own beliefs and assumptions, leading to more thoughtful, responsible and purposeful lives
  • understand that knowledge brings responsibilities which lead to commitment and action


Having followed the TOK course, students should be able to:

  • identify and analyse the various kinds of justification used to support knowledge claims
  • formulate, evaluate and attempt to answer knowledge questions
  • examine how academic disciplines/areas of knowledge generate and shape knowledge
  • understand the roles played by ways of knowing in the construction of shared and personal knowledge
  • explore links between knowledge claims, knowledge questions, ways of knowing and areas of knowledge
  • demonstrate an awareness and understanding of different perspectives and be able to relate these to one’s own perspective
  • explore a real-life/contemporary situation from a TOK perspective in the presentation.

TOK Assessment

TOK is graded from A to E. The TOK Presentation is 33 percent of the final grade and the TOK Essay is 67 percent. Students are given detailed guidance on both aspects of the assessment.

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