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Theory of Knowledge


Mulgrave School Lunchtime Lectures

Motivated to bring the ideas discussed in ToK outside the classroom and into the community, Mulgrave's Senior School has created a series of Lunchtime Lectures that will be open to the community.

Join us as we engage in different kinds of knowledge from around our own community and our perspectives.

Where: Mulgrave School, Linda Hamer Theatre

When: Mondays from 1:15-2:00pm

Click here to access the most up-to-date schedule.

Designed to mirror university courses in philosophy or epistemology, the IB's Theory of Knowledge course is focussed on helping students discover and share their views on important questions about learning, thinking and knowledge.

It's framework shifts away from ideas about "right" and "wrong", instead prioritising quality of justification and a balanced approach to the knowledge claim in question*.

*As defined by the IBO.

Learn More About Theory of Knowledge

What are the different ways of knowledge taught by IB ToK Courses?

Ways of knowing: (sense perception, reason, emotion, faith, imagination, intuition, memory, and language). How do we gain knowledge of the world, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each way in which we learn of the world and our place in it. Until the fall of 2014, there were only four ways of knowing (sense perception, reason, emotion, and language, but the IB curriculum then changed to include four other ways of knowing: intuition, imagination, faith, and memory.

What are the different areas of knowledge taught in ToK?

Areas of knowledge (mathematics, natural sciences, human sciences, history, religious knowledge systems, indigenous knowledge systems, the arts and ethics): their distinct natures and methods of gaining knowledge, the types of claim each makes and the issues to consider (e.g. "How do you know that the scientific method is a valid method of gaining knowledge?", "What is the reason for having historical knowledge, and how is it applied in life?"). The IB originally had six areas of knowledge: mathematics, natural sciences, human sciences, history, the arts and ethics. In the fall of 2014, the IB curriculum changed to include two more areas of knowledge: religious knowledge systems and indigenous knowledge systems.

Factors that transcend individual ways of knowing and areas of knowledge:

  • Nature of knowing: what are the differences between information, data, belief, faith, opinion, knowledge and wisdom?
  • Knowledge communities: what is taken for granted in a community? How can we decide which beliefs we ought to check further?
  • Knowers' perspective and applications of knowledge: how do age, education, culture and experience influence selection of sources and formation of knowledge claims? If you know something, or how to do something, do you have a responsibility to use your knowledge?
  • Justifications of knowledge claims: why should claims be assessed critically? Are logic, sensory perception, revelation, faith, memory, consensus, intuition, and self-awareness equally reliable justifications? Use of coherence, correspondence, pragmatism, and consensus as criteria of truth.

* As published by the IBO

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