Welcome to Kognity’s IBDP Theory of Knowledge Bootcamp! 

Sign up to our expert-led sessions for inspiring ideas and insightful background knowledge that will help you teach the new syllabus! 

All sessions are free and open to all teachers.
All registrants will also receive access to recordings and slides for each session, and a certificate of completion.

September 22

1:00 PM (UTC +2)

Explaining the utility of Theory of Knowledge to students

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05:00 PM (UTC +2)

Making Sense of the New Syllabus

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September 23

4:00 PM (UTC +2)

Using the Problem Based Learning Model approach to teaching the TOK Themes

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5:00 PM (UTC +2)

Ethics as a unit of work: Using ethical theories to explore real-life situations, case studies and examples

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September 24

3:00 PM (UTC +2)

Indigenous societies

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5:00 PM (UTC +2)

The 12 Concepts: A method for structuring the TOK course

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September 22

Explaining the utility of Theory of Knowledge to students

Washington DC, US 7:00 AM (UTC -4) │Stockholm, Sweden 1:00 PM (UTC +2) │Dubai, UAE 3:00 PM (UTC +4) │Mumbai, India 4:30 PM (UTC +5:30) │Beijing, China 7:00 PM (UTC +8)

Theory of knowledge can seem a daunting prospect for some students, who often struggle to tackle abstract questions that have no correct answer. A number of students even fail to understand why they are obliged to complete the ToK course perceiving it as an unnecessary hoop they have to jump through, in order to complete the Diploma Programme.

The aim of this webinar is to enable ToK teachers to put forward persuasive arguments to convince your students that ToK really can help them, academically and personally. I would also like to provide some concrete class ideas about how we can reinforce ToK skills that enable greater performance in the broader context of the diploma programme.

The webinar will cover

  • Common preconceptions held by some students
  • How ToK works on skills that allow students to access higher mark bands in other DP subjects
  • Class ideas that can help students develop the identified skills

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Picture of Rory Palframan

Hosted by Rory Palframan

Rory Palframan has been teaching in the DP program for the past several years at Colegio San Patricio, Madrid. As well as teaching Theory of Knowledge, he has also taught English B and Global Politics. Originally a Philosophy graduate from the University of Kent he is currently studying International Relations at the Universidad Oberta De Catalunya. When not teaching, studying, or being a father, he enjoys exploring the nearby mountains of la Sierra de Guadarrama on bike or foot.

David Spooner

Hosted by David Spooner

David Spooner has been teaching TOK since 1999, in a variety of countries including Ghana, the UK, Spain, Finland, Greece, Lebanon, Jordan and Italy. He has been an IB workshop leader since 2004, and has a range of examining experience. In addition to this, he is an IB Verification Visitor and Consultant for schools wishing to adopt the IB Diploma. When he is not indulging his passions of travelling, rock-climbing, hiking, photography or lying on a beach doing nothing, he enjoys teaching.

Making Sense of the New Syllabus

Washington DC, US 11:00 AM (UTC -4) │Stockholm, Sweden 5:00 PM (UTC +2) │Dubai, UAE 7:00 PM (UTC +4) │Mumbai, India 8:30 PM (UTC +5:30) │Beijing, China 11:00 PM (UTC +8)

In this webinar, David will guide you through how to make sense of the new TOK syllabus. This webinar focuses on the key changes in the new curriculum, and understanding the new structure.

This will be followed by 15 minutes of Q&A from the audience.

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September 23

Using the Problem Based Learning Model approach to teaching the TOK Themes

Washington DC, US 10:00 AM (UTC -4) │Stockholm, Sweden 4:00 PM (UTC +2) │Dubai, UAE 6:00 PM (UTC +4) │Mumbai, India 7:30 PM (UTC +5:30) │Beijing, China 10:00 PM (UTC +8)

This webinar will provide you with a structure for teaching the thematic elements of the course through PBL.

At the conclusion of this webinar, you will gain knowledge, resources and confidence that will enable you to create authentic and reflective learning experiences for your TOK students while simultaneously teaching them necessary TOK skills such as comparative analysis, the identification and utilization of evidence in support of claims, and knowledge question formulation.

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Matt Kuykendall

Hosted by Matt Kuykendall

Matt Kuykendall has been teaching Theory of Knowledge for 10 years in Shanghai and Vienna. He is the lead author of Kognity’s most recent Theory of Knowledge text and has co-authored past TOK texts as well as the most recent edition of the DP Psychology text. Matt strives to create learning experiences for students that are relevant, skill focused and engaging. He believes that teaching from a thematic framework is an exceedingly useful tool in achieving these pedagogical ends.

David Spooner

Hosted by David Spooner

David Spooner has been teaching TOK since 1999, in a variety of countries including Ghana, the UK, Spain, Finland, Greece, Lebanon, Jordan and Italy. He has been an IB workshop leader since 2004, and has a range of examining experience. In addition to this, he is an IB Verification Visitor and Consultant for schools wishing to adopt the IB Diploma. When he is not indulging his passions of travelling, rock-climbing, hiking, photography or lying on a beach doing nothing, he enjoys teaching.

Ethics as a unit of work: Using ethical theories to explore real-life situations, case studies and examples

Washington DC, US 11:00 AM (UTC -4) │Stockholm, Sweden 5:00 PM (UTC +2) │Dubai, UAE 7:00 PM (UTC +4) │Mumbai, India 8:30 PM (UTC +5:30) │Beijing, China 11:00 PM (UTC +8)

Why Ethics in ToK?

From the ToK Curriculum Review 2019: “There was strong support among the review team for making engagement with ethics compulsory, particularly given the mission of the IB. However, it was felt that the most effective way to engage students with ethics in TOK would be to infuse it throughout the course. It is hoped that this change will increase engagement with ethics, by making it a high-profile compulsory part of all elements of the course.”

From the ToK Transition Support Material: “Compulsory engagement with ethics. This is a shift from having ethics as a standalone optional area of knowledge to having ethics as a requirement within every part of the course. This makes ethics compulsory for all students”

From the ToK Guide p.13 : “It is crucial that TOK discussions about ethics focus on the knowledge questions that are woven into, and implied, in the ethical issues being discussed, rather than the focus being on debating the ethical issues themselves.”

In this webinar, we will consider how we can construct a stand-alone unit of work on Ethics in ToK which will allow us to compare and contrast the considerations and conclusions that four major ethical theories would arrive at regarding a range of real life situations, case studies and objects in the different optional themes and areas of knowledge, allowing the students to move beyond the idea that ethics is to do with moral judgement, a frequent pitfall for students in essays and presentations/exhibitions, and towards a more profound understanding that ethics is about the systematization of principles (HOW can we decide WHAT to do?). “

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September 24

Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Washington DC, US 9:00 AM (UTC -4) │Stockholm, Sweden 3:00 PM (UTC +2) │Dubai, UAE 5:00 PM (UTC +4) │Mumbai, India 6:30 PM (UTC +5:30) │Beijing, China 9:00 PM (UTC +8)

One important innovation of TOK2020 is the responsibility that has been passed onto schools to choose the Optional Themes they will cover with students. Are you tempted to select Indigenous Knowledge Systems but a bit worried about being insufficiently prepared to design this unit and lead these lessons? This webinar invites you to seriously consider teaching this theme for its intrinsic richness, the variety of links that can be developed to other optional themes and Areas of knowledge and its potential to expand students’ understanding of the TOK Core, Knowledge and the Knower.

In this webinar we will use elements of the TOK Framework and specific knowledge questions to:

  • Critically examine the values and assumptions that underpin “indigenous” knowledge systems
  • Analyse the unique nature of indigenous knowledge systems
  • Explore the central elements that comprise these systems
  • Consider ways to encourage links and comparisons between this theme, areas of knowledge and the Core.

The webinar will include concrete examples and provide you with a list of some online resources that you can use to design and implement this unit for the students in your classroom.

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Mimi Beck

Hosted by Mimi Bick

Mimi Bick, former Chief Assessor for Theory of Knowledge, taught for 25 years in several schools in Chile. During this time, she led teacher workshops in the Americas and co-authored Theory of Knowledge: A Course Companion published by Oxford University Press. Most recently, Mimi has contributed to TOK in her role as content editor of Kognity’s online materials for the course.

David Spooner

Hosted by David Spooner

David Spooner has been teaching TOK since 1999, in a variety of countries including Ghana, the UK, Spain, Finland, Greece, Lebanon, Jordan and Italy. He has been an IB workshop leader since 2004, and has a range of examining experience. In addition to this, he is an IB Verification Visitor and Consultant for schools wishing to adopt the IB Diploma. When he is not indulging his passions of travelling, rock-climbing, hiking, photography or lying on a beach doing nothing, he enjoys teaching.

The 12 Concepts: A method for structuring the TOK course

Washington DC, US 11:00 AM (UTC -4) │Stockholm, Sweden 5:00 PM (UTC +2) │Dubai, UAE 7:00 PM (UTC +4) │Mumbai, India 8:30 PM (UTC +5:30) │Beijing, China 11:00 PM (UTC +8)

This webinar will focus on the 12 concepts which “have particular prominence within, and thread throughout, the ToK course. Exploration of the relationship between knowledge and these concepts can help students to deepen their understanding, as well as facilitating the transfer of their learning to new and different contexts.” (Guide, p.6)

Those 12 concepts are Evidence, Certainty, Truth, Interpretation, Power, Justification, Explanation, Objectivity, Perspective, Culture, Values and Responsibility.

Instead of approaching the study of each Optional Theme and Area of Knowledge separately, in order to recognize the “particular prominence” of the 12 central ToK concepts, one possibility is to organize units of work based on each of the concepts.

In that way we can ‘compare and contrast’ the understanding of those concepts within and between the various options and areas of knowledge, and it will provide an anchor for the core theme, ‘Knowledge and The Knower.’

As ToK teachers, there is no obligation to structure the course in a certain way. This means that there is no obligation to have (say) a unit of work for each option chosen, nor a unit of work for each area of knowledge chosen, another unit of work for the core theme (etc.) (although, as we shall see, we can (continue to) do it that way and still place emphasis on the 12 concepts). As teachers, we are free to structure and deliver our ToK course however we wish. Arguably the best way to do this is by providing examples taken from the students’ other Diploma classes, their CAS engagements and their extended essay work, given that one of the main aims of the course is «to encourage students to make connections between academic disciplines by exploring underlying concepts and by identifying similarities and differences in the methods of inquiry used in different areas of knowledge» (Guide, p.8)

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