As regular readers know, this year I’ll be teaching an International Baccalaureate “Theory of Knowledge” class in addition to Intermediate English and mainstream ninth-grade English classes. It’s going to be an interesting mix, and I’m looking forward to challenge.
For those of you who are not familiar with either IB or TOK, IB is a program that, to put it succinctly, and probably not all-together accurately, can be described as an Advanced Placement program that appears to me to have a more international, coherent, and progressive approach. Students who take and pass all IB classes graduate with a special IB diploma that can open a lot of doors. Our school is a little different from most schools with IB programs in that while there’s typically a focus on the diploma program, we have a smaller number of students going for the diploma and have a much larger number taking one, two or three IB classes. I think we’re also one of not-a-large number of inner-city high schools participating.
In the Theory of Knowledge class, students basically learn to not take anything they’re being taught in school or hearing elsewhere at face value, and that the world is not black and white. So I basically encourage them to question what they’re learning in all their other classes
I’ve already shared links to my Intermediate English and Ninth-Grade English class blogs. I’ll be sharing our class assignments there. I’ll eventually do the same for Theory of Knowledge, but I’m still “getting my feet wet.” One of my goals is to modify a number of the TOK lessons to make them accessible to English Language Learners.
In the meantime, though, for those of you who might be teaching TOK, or know others who are, are who are just looking for interesting lesson plans, I thought I’d share links to the blogs that I’ve found to have the best resources for TOK teachers and students. Not all are necessarily active right now, but even they have a ton of great resources: