Theory of Knowledge

Theory of Knowledge is the culminating course within the International Baccalaureate diploma program. This seminar is designed to promote and guide reflection and synthesis of thought generated in the various academic disciplines with a particular emphasis on the students’ personal integration of knowledge into their own lives. This course is an IB requirement for all diploma candidates and prospective candidates.

The course explores various areas of knowledge: mathematics, history, natural sciences, human sciences, the arts, etc. The process of knowledge formation and requirements for justification used in each are examined and discussed. This exploration connects the specific areas of knowledge with analysis of the primary ways of knowing: language, reason, emotion, and sensory perception. Students should be able to critically examine the development and status of that which they claim to know and the decisions they make based upon that knowledge.

Evaluation is based heavily upon seminar preparation and participation with written assignments and oral presentations reflecting the assessment criteria set forth by IB.

Diploma candidates will also receive supervision regarding the 4,000 word extended essay based upon independent research as required by IB. While distinct from the Theory of Knowledge course curriculum, the extended essay is an integral component of the IB diploma program.

NOTE: Students take the course for a total of three terms – the third term of junior year and the first and second terms of senior year.