IB Theory of Knowledge

North Shore High School Seniors Complete Final Theory of Knowledge Seminar

This past Friday, North Shore High School seniors in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course participated in their final seminar. This seminar was conducted virtually, moderated by TOK teacher, Dr. Maram Mabrouk. TOK is designed as a broad-based two-year course that aims to encourage students to be knowledgeable and inquiring, but also caring and compassionate. There is a strong emphasis on encouraging students to develop intercultural understanding, open-mindedness, and the attitudes necessary for them to respect and evaluate a range of points of view. 

During this culminating experience, students considered a form of art of their choice, to frame and present their beliefs in how it critiques power. Using art as a form of protest, students chose Call of Duty memes, comedy skits of Key & Peele, and music of Rage Against the Machine to explore this notion, presenting open-ended questions to their peers and leading a discussion with the group. Students made connections to disciplines such as history and anthropology; they challenged and raised questions to one another, engaging an idea exchange virtually. Questions that students generated on their own throughout the seminar included:

  • To what extent does Rage Against the Machine bridge music into a form of protest?  
  • Is art a form of expressing discontent with society? 
  • Why do people blindly follow those in power? 
  • When are we taught to say no to authority, such as our parents? 
  • What are the parameters of how we determine what is real? 
  • How do we determine universal truths, when there are always exceptions? 
  • How do we balance the roles we play in life? Which role is your truest self?

In TOK, students think deeply, grapple with exciting interdisciplinary ideas, discuss texts each day, and respond to open-ended and complex questions. The course begins spring semester of junior year and continues fall semester of senior year. Truth and areas of knowledge, including history, sciences, the arts, and mathematics frame the learning, as students explore, reflect, and put into perspective, what they already know. 

For further information on the IB Diploma Programme, visit: www.ibo.org/en/dp

Article by IB/AP Coordinator, Dr. Kerri Titone