Theory of knowledge (TOK) plays a special role in the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP), by providing an opportunity for students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, and on how we know what we claim to know. It is one of the components of the DP core and is mandatory for all students. The TOK requirement is central to the educational philosophy of the DP.
As a thoughtful and purposeful inquiry into different ways of knowing, and into different kinds of knowledge, TOK is composed almost entirely of questions.
The most central of these is "How do we know?", while other questions include:
- What counts as evidence for X?
- How do we judge which is the best model of Y?
- What does theory Z mean in the real world?
Through discussions of these and other questions, students gain greater awareness of their personal and ideological assumptions, as well as developing an appreciation of the diversity and richness of cultural perspectives.