Kim Wilkes who teacher ToK in Florida presented at the IB Schools of Michigan Fall Conference. Here are her notes!

Essay and Presentation

For skills, here. do you see ToK Vocab, academic style, extended examples, WoKs, etc? No. The first several skills are the most important. Examples are touchstones to illustrate questions or titles. Formulas for writing suck. Fulfilling “rubric checklists” in papers by lists, etc. will give you a max 5/10. Have an authentic voice that is aware of its own biases.

The Assessments for ToK are a base level of what we want students to do in their adult lives: ask questions, pursue knowledge.

RLS/Example –> Conclusion/Claim. Add Implications: How does a conclusion or claim impact knowledge in the AoK? Concrete, original examples: not hypotheticals. 

Essay Interactions/Meetings:

  1. Title Overview/Crash Course and Titles Chosen: Group
    1. Meet with student alumni to help with this
  2. Outline/Topic Review/Discussion of first drafts: by topics (group – guiding questions/worksheets)
  3. One-one paper discussion on drafts you would be willing to submit (2-3 weeks prior) with predicted scoring

Presentations should be “a pleasurable experience for the audience.” Do practice presentations. The presentation may not be read; it must be performed live.

For presentations, the KQs and the RLS must all be different across the school’s program.

Don’t use IB Titles as presentations (or even models of them). The word “outline” in presentations: NO. Show ToK thinking, how an idea is developed, counter-claims, etc. (But still 500 total words.)

For Presentation comments, be specific and write a lot. (Observation–>What it Demonstrates)

Common Examples to Be Avoided

  • The earth is flat
  • The geocentric model of the solar system
  • Copernicus in relation to geocentrism
  • The church in relation to geocentrism
  • The Rutherford Model/Plum pudding model
  • Hitler
  • The periodic table
  • Pluto and its status changes
  •  Math 1+1 or 2+2
  • Picasso’s “Guernica” or Dali’s “Persistence of Memory”
  • Elizabeth Loftus and her memory experiments
  • Robert Hooke
  • Bloodletting
  • Occam’s razor
  • DNA (Watson/Crick)
  • Darwin Evolution/Creationism
  • Historian Howard Zinn
  • Dolly – cloning
  • Columbus
  • Study of Mao

Nationwide Plagues vs. Thinking:

  • Relativism
  • Readers/Viewers Have Own Opinions
  • Cliches 
  • Absolutism
  • False Knowledge

Some Activities

See Kim Wilkes’ files of activities:

  • Knower Perceptions
  • Defining Terms
  • Creativity
  • Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds
  • Assessing Truth
  • Logical Fallacy Bingo
  • Doubt Reflection

Everyday ToK.  Bring in some RLS examples

  • Podcasts and topics
    • Share – hardcopies, recordings, Cause it to open up into a ToK discussion
  • Create a rubric; later, challenge the rubric
  • Amy Cutty Power Pose; and What Happened to Amy Cutty?

Ways of Knowing Notes

Ways of Knowing Ad Campaign



Areas of Knowledge Notes


  • Who determines ethical guidelines in AoK?
  • What are ethical guidelines in AoK?
  • How does it help/hinder knowledge?
  • What are ethical questions in AoK?

Knowledge Questions Notes

History of these:

  • Started with Knowledge Problems; then Knowledge Issues
  • It’s quite simply a question about knowledge.

Should it be applicable to all AoKs?  Sure, but let’s get the question posed first. It’s a question about knowledge, how it works, what we’re thinking about. Titles offered by IB don’t have to influence or serve as models for these.

With each question, there is, inherently, a claim about knowledge.


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