Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is a compulsory subject included in the course for students aimed at obtaining International Baccalaureate Diploma. TOK course focuses on the area of knowledge and related issues. For a presentation in this field students usually pick up one or a few Knowledge Questions (KQ) and represent their reflexions on the essence of knowledge and its problematics.
A peculiar feature of the TOK presentation is that central concept is being explored in reference to the real life situation. As in any other presentation you chose what you would like to talk about, what to investigate at first, but the background or basis for the reflexions is to be real life situation (RLS). Students are likely to choose topics that are interesting and quite familiar to them. It would be advantageous to formulate Knowledge Questions starting with: “How can we be sure that..?”, “How can we know…?”, “Can I…?”, “Does knowledge (or language, or poll results) influence smb/smth in…?” to make your presentation purposeful from the very beginning.
Here is a general TOK presentation structure example:
- Pick up the life situation interesting to investigate;
- Determine several issues/ key points that emerge out of the situation;
- Think over these questions, reason them;
- Provide the conclusion you came up with after the analysis completed.
Your personal experience or something happened with your acquaintances can be taken to stand for a real life situation. It can be also some burning issue or thrilling event happened in society and widely discussed.
Your Knowledge Questions should arise out of the situation, not to be adjusted to it and far-fetched. It’s better to associate them even with a number of existing life situations, to exceed pure limits of the original “location”.
Scope chosen KQs up to four different aspects or directions and examine each of them. A good TOK presentation example cannot go without representing evidences. Support your statements with facts, experiments data, and practical experience. Elaborate the issues in terms of types of knowledge and ways of thinking.
Remember: you are not telling what you found out but what your opinion and judgments are! Do not forget to connect conclusions with the RLS at the end.
TOK Presentation Pitfalls and Tips
- Knowledge issue is rather theoretical and hypothetical; you do not provide any evidences from existing life. Conditionals are to avoid while defining your statement;
- It is not a descriptive research or some general social project; do not let philosophical reasoning lead you away from the RLS. TOK is not about the moral dilemma as well;
- Audience interaction is always a great idea but it should not divert public attention from your own inquiry;
- Do not concentrate on one aspect, but explore a matter from different opposite viewpoints;
- Use critical approach, question yourself, and make sure your claims are of the applicable nature;
- Include some videos or other illustrative materials;
- Remember that a stress should be put also on how various opinions and believes appeared as a result of a learning process.
- How to make a great Theory of Knowledge presentation
- How to Structure a Theory of Knowledge Presentation
- TOK Presentation by Halle Bauer