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TOK breakdown

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This might seem like an extremely idiotic question, but I was wondering whether someone could give me a basic breakdown of what TOK is like? I just want to gauge whether this is a course I am going to pour hours of work into or is it a more laid back class than say..Ib Bio? As a disclaimer I know ANY IB class is rigorous, I just want to know the basic syllabus and workings of TOK. Thanks!

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Disclaimer i only got a B so I do not imply any absoluteness or even authority in my response.

ToK is like a highway speed limit (i see you are from US, European students might find this unrelatable with their high speed limits). You are expected to go beyond the limit, and go beyond what textbook tells you. For example, my class spent about 1/3 course reading about various branches of philosophy, which goes way beyond just ways of knowing etc. If you are driving 10 mph under speed limit you may be considered slow, in low traffic safe driving conditions. However, if you go 30 mph faster, you will definitely be fined, and trying getting too creative, without much theoretical basis, your essay wont score well. The entire course is a task to find the sweet spot with many trials and errors.

Structrually, TOK is just to prepare you for a presentation and an essay, but along with EE, they may be the toughest in high school because of the lack of direction. There usually isnt homework per se in TOK but its something you should try to apply outside of class to find subtleties and dilemmas that make you think.

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To add to what kw said, I think TOK can vary GREATLY depending on your teacher. I had two teachers, and the one from second year made us basically redo everything we had done in year 1 because they felt like it was "incorrect".

Some teachers are very engaging, and use a lot of powerpoints. Some prefer class discussions and debates. Some will barely put any effort in, and you spend two years snoozing... Sadly (?) TOK is one of the things in IB where the teacher can make or break the course. 

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4 hours ago, mac117 said:

To add to what kw said, I think TOK can vary GREATLY depending on your teacher. I had two teachers, and the one from second year made us basically redo everything we had done in year 1 because they felt like it was "incorrect".

Some teachers are very engaging, and use a lot of powerpoints. Some prefer class discussions and debates. Some will barely put any effort in, and you spend two years snoozing... Sadly (?) TOK is one of the things in IB where the teacher can make or break the course. 

I have an additional question, would you say the class could be more conversational based? By that I mean Socratic Seminars, presentations, debates, basically things that I struggle with...

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Again, adding on to what previous responders said, the experience really depends on the teacher.

My teacher taught us with powerpoints and assigned textbook readings while my friends' teacher (who was... quirky, to say the least) got them to basically learn the entire course by themselves, then did a bunch of class presentations and discussions in class. TOK is a course that's pretty open to interpretation, so the teachers tend to influence the experience a lot

That said, there will be a TOK presentation within the course that is mandatory. That, and the TOK essay are what you actually get marked on for the course. 

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