The International Baccalaureate made the extremely unwise decision to implement a new curriculum for the Theory of Knowledge course this year – really, they couldn’t wait for the pandemic to end and, instead, create even more pressure on teachers?
One of the many changes was for us to teach all the Themes and Areas of Knowledge through the lens of four components:
Methods and Tools
I’ve generally been explaining them this way:
Scope is the basic content of the theme or Area of Knowledge.
Perspective is how different people might view that content.
Methods and Tools are how the content is generated/created, collected and disseminated.
Ethics covers the moral implications of the scope, perspectives and methods and tools.
Earlier this year, I put out a question on a TOK teachers Facebook page asking to hear how others explained the four components to their students.
Here are a few of the responses I received:
Michele Rae gave me permission to share her lesson:
We watched a brief introductory video on epistemology. Then students each wrote two significant knowledge questions the video raised for them. Next, I gave the students the category labels: scope, perspective, methods & tools, ethics and asked them to place each of their questions in the category in which it seemed to best fit. Finally, after the questions were dispersed, the students were asked to define how they used, in practice, “scope, purpose, methods & tools, and ethics.” Tomorrow we will consider all the student definitions, and, as a class collaborate to define each. These will be our working definitions, and we will continue to revise and improve them. Hope that makes sense. I have no idea at this point if it will be effective; however, it is engaging and thought-provoking work for the students, if nothing else.
This was the video she showed:
A few other interesting “takes” from different teachers:
One teacher wrote: I like to say “Perspectives are what explain how there can be competing answers to the same question.”
Another teacher wrote: ‘tools’ seem like good old Ways of Knowing
I’m adding this post to THE BEST RESOURCES FOR LEARNING ABOUT THE NEW THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE SYLLABUS.