TOK Coordinator - Job Description
The IB do not insist that you appoint a Theory of Knowledge (TOK) Coordinator. However, many IB schools choose to have a TOK Coordinator to coordinate and support the work of TOK teachers and subject teachers in their delivery of theory of knowledge.
If you appoint a TOK Coordinator it is good that they are seen as part of the (pedagogical) leadership team of the school. This is made clear in Standard B1 which states that “The school’s leadership and administrative structures ensure the implementation of the IB programme(s).”
Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is referenced throughout the IB Standards and Practices, the checklist for both IB authorization and five year evaluation.
This page provides you with an overview of what you may like to include in a job description of a Theory of Knowledge Coordinator (should you choose to appoint one). You may also like to refer to Theory of Knowledge which provides an introduction to TOK to use with key stakeholders - not least all staff. This website contains many other pages and activities to explore TOK - including 8 TOK Lessons.
The role of the Theory of Knowledge Coordinator
The IB does not provide job descriptions for Theory of Knowledge coordinators. The following itemises some of their core functions.
Spread awareness about the TOK course and its significance to the following audiences: senior leaders, subject teachers, parents and students.Convey enthusiasm and passion for the central role of TOK in developing critical thinking.
Develop and implement a Theory of Knowledge course that lasts the two years of the Diploma Programme. The IB recommends at least 100 teaching hours over the two-year period of study.
Model a TOK 'habit of mind' - the pedagogy of critical thinking that is central to the subject.
Facilitate professional development for all DP subject teachers on the nature of Theory of Knowledge (especially encouraging them to use the subject specific knowledge frameworks).
Work collaboratively and reflectively with DP subject teachers to help them integrate Theory of Knowledge into their unit plans.
Have knowledge of both the essay assessment instrument and the presentation assessment instrument and have confidence in marking standards.
Encourage and support students in the writing the TOK essay, providing the student with advice on and guidance about the skills needed. Ensure that the essay is the student’s own work. Encourage and support student in the preparation of the TOK presentation (including the presentation planning document PPD), providing guidance on presentation skills. Assess the presentation using the presentation assessment instrument.
Work with the DP Coordinator to administer the assessment requirements. Some schools in each session will be required to record some or all of their presentations and submit these for moderation. Such schools will be notified by 30 September/30 March, 20 months prior to the examination session.
Where does the Theory of Knowledge Coordinator fit within the school organigram? This should indicate a leadership role. Who are they accountable to? Who are they responsible for (e.g. IB teachers and all IB students)?
Try and describe the role of the Theory of Knowledge Coordinator in a sentence - this should make reference to their pedagogical leadership role within the school. What are they leading on? What are they coordinating?
- What are the key skills you look for in a TOK Coordinator? What leadership capabilities do they need? Would it be helpful to use the IB Leadership Intelligences as a framework in selecting your Coordinator? Why not link the skills to the IB Learner Profile? You may also like them to model the IB Approaches to Learning skills.
- The TOK Coordinator is a pedagogical leader. Are we clear in the job description what this means? To what extent do they need to be a good instructional leader for students and staff?
- Do you provide sufficient release time for the TOK Coordinator to carry out their role?
Reminder: When writing the job description you may also like to refer to the IB leadership intelligences which underpin all IB pedagogical leadership roles. They can be found HERE: IB Leadership Pathway. For each intelligence I have indicated the qualities you may like to look for in a person specification.