The Theory Of Knowledge And Why It’s A Hallmark Of The International Baccalaureate Programme At Our Private School

October 17, 2023

At ENSR, high school students can take the International Baccalaureate Programme to pave the way to a bright future. IB graduates gain access to admission into prestigious post-secondary institutions worldwide, equipped with a wide range of academic skills and an awareness of the world around them. Not only does the International Baccalaureate encourage students to achieve strong academic results, but it also helps mold them into compassionate, knowledgeable citizens who will play a role in shaping a more peaceful world. 

As individuals, the way we think contributes to collective consciousness. When we understand how knowledge is formed and strive to improve our awareness of our thinking, we can play a positive role in advancing society—knowing that the International Baccalaureate incorporates a course called the theory of knowledge. Read on to discover more about the international baccalaureate programme, the theory of knowledge, and its role in our curriculum. 

What Is the International Baccalaureate Programme?

The International Baccalaureate Organisation strives to create a better world, one student at a time. It offers high-quality, challenging education programmes. The IB graduate is internationally minded and recognizes their role in developing a brighter tomorrow, proactively working towards positive change. That sounds like an idealistic goal, but the international baccalaureate programme manages to produce highly sought-after graduates.

The Theory of Knowledge is a fundamental subject at the heart of the IB programme, and helps students to develop the qualities mentioned below:

  • Knowledgeable
  • Thinkers 
  • Communicators
  • Principled
  • Risk Takers 
  • Reflective
Two private school students looking at notes together in the hallway.

Private school students in our IB programme enjoy prestigious academic opportunities.

What Is the Theory of Knowledge?

The Theory of Knowledge is a key International Baccalaureate course that encourages students to closely examine the nature of knowledge and how we accumulate it. When studying the theory of knowledge, students ponder the answers to various questions such as: “How do we know?”, “what counts as evidence of X?”, “How do we judge what the best model of Y is?” and “How does the theory of Z apply to the real world?”

A private school student raising her hand in class.

Private school students develop their critical thinking skills through TOK instruction.

By striving to answer these questions, IB students at our international school in Switzerland learn to appreciate the richness of various cultural perspectives and think critically about their ideological biases. 

How Our Private School Incorporates the Theory of Knowledge in Our Curriculum

At ENSR, instruction on the Theory of Knowledge consists of 100 hours of instruction throughout the two-year academic cycle. Students get plenty of time to hone their critical thinking skills in dynamic class discussions and various assignments before they use Theory of Knowledge principles to complete their TOK essay.  This essay is a 1600-word paper focused on one TOK topic to be chosen in the 2nd year that allows students to deepen their knowledge and critical thinking in two specific areas of knowledge with connections to real-world issues of their choice.

The lessons that students learn from this important dimension of IB instruction will follow them throughout their lives and create global citizens who understand the world around them and feel empowered to change it for the better. 

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