Sue Bastian, the architect of the original Theory of Knowledge curriculum, has devised a series of lesson plans to help you familiarise yourself and your students with the four elements of the new compulsory IB Knowledge Framework.
There were a number of significant changes to the Theory of Knowledge curriculum in the 2020 Subject Guide, which you can find out more about in Sue’s handy guide to the changes. One of these changes was the introduction of a new compulsory Knowledge Framework and its four elements: Scope, Perspective, Methods and Tools, and Ethics.
The example knowledge questions suggested for each theme and area of knowledge in the 2020 TOK Subject Guide are organised into this framework. The four elements provide a structure that encourages deeper exploration, providing your students with a common vocabulary, and helping them make effective connections and comparisons across the curriculum.
Read on for an overview of each element of the Knowledge Framework and download the accompanying lesson plan.
This element focuses on exploring how each theme and area of knowledge fits within human knowledge as a whole, as well as considering the nature of the problems within each theme or area of knowledge, and how they are addressed.
Lesson Plan: What’s worth remembering: The reach of history
This lesson uses the area of knowledge of history to demonstrate the element of scope within the Knowledge Framework. Consider the nature and scope of the making of history and partially simulate the production of knowledge in history.
This element focuses on the importance and influence of perspectives and context, encouraging students to reflect on their own perspectives, as well as that of different people or groups. It encourages them to reflect on historical perspectives and how knowledge changes over time.
Explore how knowledge claims are shaped by different cultural and social perspectives. This lesson addresses almost all of the 12 concepts central to TOK, especially that of culture, as well as point of view.
3. Methods and tools
What methods, tools and practices do we use to produce knowledge? This element focuses on the building of conceptual frameworks, traditions and practices. It considers the tools available to help us in the pursuit of knowledge, including how these tools have changed in response to new technology.
An introductory lesson to help your students become aware of the nature and power of sense perception as central to the empirical method of producing and justifying knowledge.
This element focuses on exploring ethics that have an impact on inquiry, from the relationship between facts and values, to questions of knowledge and inequality and injustice. Rather than debating the ethical issues themselves, these discussions focus on the knowledge questions in your TOK course.
This lesson introduces ethics as an element of the knowledge framework, demonstrating one way of exploring the ethical considerations in all the areas of knowledge (AOK) and optional themes.
Written by an extremely experienced authoring team of examiners, curriculum reviewers and workshop leaders – Julian Kitching, Ric Sims, and the architect of the original TOK curriculum, Sue Bastian, our new our new IB Theory of Knowledge textbook has been structured to match the new Knowledge Framework.
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