TOK Knowledge Seminars are about the Knowledge

The ToK year 1 classes are deep in preparation for our next round Knowledge Seminars starting on 14 January and running in each ToK class until Tet.

Our goal is to better understand each Area of Knowledge by using the TOK Knowledge Framework and Knowledge Questions within a subject area that we take as at the Higher Level or that we are sincerely interested in.

We have been exploring our subject areas and the production of knowledge in these subject areas in order to answer the following question (that was actually very close to a previous year’s ToK Essay title):

“What is the role of disagreement between experts in the production of knowledge in your area of knowledge (subject area) of focus?”

Perhaps the most important part of our preparation was actually discussing the production of knowledge and the role of experts directly with our subject area teachers.

We’ve been reaching out to our teachers to find out different real life examples of disagreement between experts in film, physics, history, economics, theater and any other subject you can think of.

Please join us and be part of our discussions (each one lasts about 12-13 minutes) in B5 G20, G21 and G29 starting on 14 January.

Written by Chloe Chee

Double-edged nature of government intervention and market “failure”

Since the 15th of November, year 1 Economy students have begun their finalizing UNIS Economy Forum: Investigative Journalism Project

Each team should choose one of the government interventions – taxes, subsidies, maximum price, minimum price – and explore, analyse, evaluate and weigh the strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/implication.

Team must have the following criteria:

  1. Participation: all members of the group must be in the expose, either as a reporter, news presenter or an extra
  2. Real life example: at least two real-life example
  3. Economic terms and explanation: Explanation of term and graphs are essential in this project
  4. Economic evaluation: two positives and two negatives of government intervention
  5. Style and creativity: Handout/poster, interesting resources, connection with ToK…

Each video would be follow the structure of News. The video must have to include the interview of three people.


  1. DP Econ Year 1 student
  2. DP Econ Year 2 student
  3. DP teacher


Each team discovered different knowledge through this project!

Jinha and Stella
” We discovered in our research related to subsidy that sometimes firms take advantage of subsidy even when they are expected to provide more merit goods “

Navya and Thu Anh
” We discovered the importance of minimum price and what does government do for citizens related to minimum price “

Rosan and Thao
” We discovered the double-edged nature of taxes on the one hand taxes are designed to redistribute wealth to compensate for market failure on the other hand taxes are resisted because some firms believe they are entitled to all that they earned “

Minju and Yuki
” We discovered that maximum price controls set by the government go a long way to helping people afford fundamental goods like housing, food, and education “

At the last lesson of economy, students were focused on film and edit the video! Sounds from the clips were funny!! 😁

As the 28th of November is the deadline, everyone is on fire!! Go Go Year 1 Economics students!

Invitation to join us! November 29th 2019 at B5 G29 from 10:00 to 11:05!

From WoK’s to AoK’s: Put Your ToK Hats On!

How do we know what we know? This is a fundamental question discussed in the IB course Theory of Knowledge (ToK). Recently, we transitioned from the eight Ways of Knowing to the eight Areas of Knowledge. This includes: Human Sciences, Natural Sciences, The Arts, Mathematics, History, Ethics, Religious Knowledge and Indigenous Knowledge.

Felix Shum, an 11th grade student explains, “I chose to focus on Human Sciences because it is theory-based, and the applications and examples used are cool! The human sciences were built around the analysis, understanding, and interpretations of the social, cultural and economic aspects of human society, which in my opinion is very interesting, ergo I was magnetized to choose it, to pick this topic not as a student or speaker, but fundamentally as a human being.

In order to explore these Areas of Knowledge, we used the knowledge framework. Essentially, it defines the key characteristics of the Areas of Knowledge, allowing students to compare, contrast and delve deeper into the relationship between each Area of Knowledge and Way of Knowing.

Minh Kieu, an 11th grade student clarifies, “I chose the Arts because there are many different ways to interpret and express it; there is no right or wrong, therefore there are no limits”.

Feel free to stop by rooms B5 G20, G21 & G29 for more discussions about knowledge!

The Production of Knowledge is just beginning…

ToK Ways of Knowing Knowledge Seminars come to an end but the production of knowledge is just beginning…

We get it now. Knowledge & knowing are a complicated business as our knowledge seminars have made abundantly clear.

Not only is our consumption of knowledge driven by primary, secondary & tertiary “networks” of ways of knowing but the methods or means of how we justify what we interpret as knowledge is also impacted by these very same networks or a different combination of ways of knowing.

To add to this complication, the critique & evaluation of knowledge also relies on these networks plus the added component of human bias & our tendency towards fallacy.

Where to go from here?

We will now be looking at the different approaches to knowledge production, allocation, consumption & critique in our subject areas & their component “Areas of Knowledge”.

Please join us in January 2020 for our subject area or “Areas of Knowledge” knowledge seminars where we will be exploring knowledge issues & knowledge questions.

Special thanks to Ms. Schneiderman, Ms. Louvet, Ms. Baker,  Mr. Cooper, Mr. Taggart, Mr. Mirza & Mr. Fairbairn for taking the time out of your busy schedules to join our discussions.

Congratulations to all Knowledge Rapporteurs & participants!

Imagination, Memory & Faith: Oh My!

ToK year 1 classes continue their exploration of the factors that may support and/or impede us as knowers in our pursuit of knowledge.

What is becoming more clear is that these factors, like imagination, intuition & memory, do not work in isolation but instead form a type of network that may aid us as we try to discern fact from fake news.

We are also coming to realize that these “networks of ways of knowing” have an equal capacity to mislead us, contributing to our reliance on a number of logical fallacies & cognitive biases which hinder our ability to effectively evaluate what we know.

In other words, fake news becomes fact & we fall for it all the time.

Knowledge Seminars continue in B5 G20, 21 & 29 on 12 & 14 November. Come share with us how you know.

Knowers in the House!

Congratulations to Year 1 Theory of Knowledge students on the successful submission of their reactions to the ToK provocation related to the challenges of language as a “double edged” way of knowing & justifying what we know (or think we know)!

Using articles from Aeon Magazine (, Harvard Business Review, the IB TOK Guide, Lagemaat as well as other sources, these responses underscore the challenges posed by relying on one single way of knowing in terms of our relationship to certainty as well as the importance of the evaluation & interplay between the ways of knowing & other methods or means of justifying what we know (or think we know).

They are worth a view:

Feel free to contact these knowers if you have responses or reactions to the significant questions they have posed at the end of their reflections!

Discussions about knowledge are always on the table in B5 G20, G21 & G29.