Theory of Knowledge
Sunday 16 November 2014
A personal perspective
I want to use this opportunity to explain how my own personal approach to ToK has developed. Like many teachers who start the IB, the whole idea was very new to me and seemed very much like a distant 'bolt on that other teachers looked after and didn't need to affect the way I taught. After 2 years of teaching IB, I took over the department in my school and the IB coordinator approached me and asked if I would prepare some subject specialist sessions on ToK and Mathematics for the IB1 students as my predecessor had done! The only answer was yes of course, but I found myself quickly in unchartered water! Eight years later I argue that the ToK course has had a bigger impact on my teaching in general, and in particular Mathematics, than anything else. When teachers feel the time is right, I would recommend and encourage as much understanding of the ToK course as possible. Equally, it is very effective to help students make links between mathematics and ToK from an early stage. Understanding the differences in the way bodies of knowledge grow, develop and change in different subject areas is bot fascinating and lends a sharp perspective to what we expect our students to do day on day in our schools.
I am now a teacher of the whole ToK course which has brought new riches in terms of the time I get to spend talking to, watching and learning from my colleagues about their subjects and the rich and fascinating links between them and the way we all accumulate knowledge.
I am sure many readers are experienced with ToK and equally sure that there are many who haven't traveled there yet. All I can say is that I recommend that you take the chance as and when it comes along.
ToK, Maths Studies and this site
Many of the resources on this site are already charged with ToK issues as I am sure some of you have noticed. I am now developing a section on Theory of Knowledge which aims to be more explicit about how and when ypu might bring ToK discussions in to the Maths Studies classroom.