Putting our TOK knowledge to the test from our subject areas

TOK Areas of Knowledge Knowledge Seminars are underway for us year 1s.

Our challenge this time was to be able to identify two or three relevant case studies/real like situations/real world examples in the subject area of our choice in order to make connections to the production of knowledge process in one of five IB TOK Areas of Knowledge ad to explore the question of the role that disagreement between experts plays in the production of knowledge.
With the freedom to choose, I chose the arts while some of my colleagues picked economics (human sciences), physics (natural sciences) history, mathematics and theater (the arts).
The biggest challenge was coming up with relevant and recent case studies we could use. Both Quanta Magazine and Aeon Magazine are good sources but we also needed to reach out to different subject area experts here at school.
One of my colleagues spoke with Mr. Mirza about the disagreements between the economic models from Hayek and Keynes; another colleague spoke to Mr. Fleming about disagreement sin astrophysics.
This was a great opportunity to learn more from our teachers!
Not only did we have to present but we had to lead discussions with our colleagues and get them to tell us more about what they were researching and exploring in their own areas of knowledge.
It was fascinating making connections between the different areas of knowledge and comparing how different experts in different subjects think and develop knowledge.
I was lucky that so many of my colleagues were enthusiastic had interesting topics to discuss that making connections was easy. We did not always agree but that was the point.
Our Knowledge seminars continue after Tet in G20, G 21 and G29. Come join us!

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

AOK of Focus Presentation: A Snapshot of the Work in Process!

To what extent do we subconsciously apply Theory of Knowledge in other subjects and how does it align with the elements of the Knowledge Framework? The lastest assessment Grade 11 students are working on allows them to explore their chosen Area of Knowledge in-depth. They are expected to look at the elements of Knowledge Framework explained in the Laagemat textbook and the IB TOK guide, which are categorised into the scope, specific concepts and language, methodology, historical development, and the relationship between the shared knowledge of the AOK. With the freedom they are given, students are finding interesting real-life case studies that reflect the elements of their AOK. 

This assessment further requires the students to look at those who are considered experts and answer the question: ‘ What is the role of disagreement between experts in the production of knowledge in your subject of focus?’. In order to answer such questions, students have been conducting interviews with their subject area teacher to better understand the application of the theories as well as what makes one an expert. 

Gaby Chanen, a student who has chosen to focus on the Arts explains, “I chose to explore theatre as I genuinely enjoy taking the class. Through my interview with my subject area teacher, Ms. TP, I was able to learn the production of knowledge and theories specific to theatre, as well as to what extent these theories are accepted and utilised within the community.”

This research is to continue through winter break and will be shared within each class once we come back. If interested, please stop by to look at the different case studies and interpretations of each student!

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.

TOK Knowledge Seminars: Understanding how we learn & how we know

Year 1 ToK students have begun their TOK Knowledge Seminar process. The purpose of the TOK Knowledge Seminar Process is for participants to examine, evaluate & understand the role that the ways of knowing play in knowing, the production, consumption & evaluation of knowledge & the questions raised by the ongoing relationship between shared & personal knowledge.

Each participant individually takes on the role of a Knowledge Rapporteur. (Rapporteur- someone chosen by an organisation to prepare reports of meetings or to investigate and report on a problem, in this case a WOK) with the goal to develop answers to the following questions as part of their investigation and discussion.

Along the way, students have been asking their subject area teachers for some suggestions about specific Real Life Situations!

These presentations are not about transmission; they are about dialogue & discussion.

Everyone is invited & Knowledge Seminars are taking place over the next two weeks in B5 G20, G21 & G29.

Come & share in the production of knowledge!