Article by: Kirtana Devaraj

It was that time of the year again for seniors to present their TOK presentations. TOK refers to Theory of Knowledge, and it is one of the requirements of the IB Diploma Programme. This week, the seniors culminated their Theory of Knowledge course with their TOK presentations. For some underclassmen, TOK might be a new concept and so BT will give you a roundup of the world of the TOK presentations.

When asked about the Theory of Knowledge course, senior Ashita D. said , “We mainly study about the different areas of knowledge like religion, history, human sciences, natural sciences, etc and ways of knowing like reason, emotion, language, perception, ethics etc.” She went on to say that, “They help us identify the different aspects of life.”

The learnings of this course are presented in the form of the TOK presentations which carry a weightage of 3 IB points. The main question addressed is ‘how do we know what we know?’ A variety of topics are explored to address the questions. Ashita D. says, “My topic was, how can we know the reasons for discriminatory beliefs? You have to go in depth and answer it the best you can using areas of knowledge and ways of knowing.” The areas of knowledge and ways of knowing used by the students change based on their topic. Ashita D. says, “I used religion, human sciences, arts. Art forms such as TV, news, dance can be used to answer the question. I used language to show that women are considered ‘under class citizens’.”

Even with all the preparation, the seniors did feel nervous. Senior Paco N. says, “Before the presentation, I was really anxious. I was excited to get it over with but also nervous.” He also mentioned, “After the presentation, you feel like you’re on the top of the world.”

Juniors who watched the TOK presentations have also mentioned their views. Zelda F. says, “The TOK presentation discussing the use of the term ‘cultural appropriation’ gave me a new understanding of a topic I’d previously thought I knew well enough. It was seriously so insightful and worth the watch.”

Seniors have some advice for juniors giving their presentations next year. Paco N. advises, “Don’t procrastinate and write the script first. You and your group have to have differing perspectives and always be prepared for questions.”

While the TOK presentations may feel like a massive challenge, the hard work pays off in the end, with the culmination of the presentations. Best of luck to all the batches who’ll give their TOK presentations in the future!

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