Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

The Theory of Knowledge programme is more than simply a “course” of studies; it is central to the educational philosophy of the IB Programme. The Theory of Knowledge course is a discussion course, which challenges students to reflect upon the nature of knowledge itself rather than encompassing a particular body of knowledge. That is, it focuses on questions of process rather than of content and consists largely in asking questions about how we come to “know” anything and in what precisely does that knowledge consist. As such, it analyses various types of knowledge or “truth” and critically evaluates the basis upon which that truth is arrived at.

Students will be encouraged to question their own assumptions, values, and judgments in order to assess the rigor with which they have reached them. This process will involve scrutinizing areas of knowledge –mathematics, the sciences, history, ethics, religion and the arts – or Ways of Knowing (reason, emotion, perception, language, intuition, imagination, memory and faith) used in each area. Finally, students will be challenged to consider the role which knowledge plays in a global society. As residents of Hong Kong, both the students and staff of CDNIS come from diverse ethnic and national backgrounds. This diversity will be exploited in the course to canvass various cultural and linguistic approaches to knowledge and as a means of examining distinctive cultural biases that are brought to bear in the definition of truth.

Theory of Knowledge is an inter-disciplinary course that seeks to examine, review, and challenge the origins and validity of various types of knowledge. The goal is to assist students in developing skills in critical thinking, detecting and analyzing bias, and presenting rational arguments. The Theory of Knowledge Course is 100 hours in length. CDNIS students will receive an OSSD equivalent credit at the Grade 12 Level in Philosophy.