North Shore High School Seniors Complete Inaugural Theory of Knowledge Exhibition
By Martin Abrams & Kerri Titone
This week, North Shore High School seniors in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course participated in the first-ever Exhibition. This took place in person, in the Art Gallery, under the direction of TOK teacher, Mr. Martin Abrams. TOK is designed as a broad-based two-year course that aims to encourage students to be knowledgeable and inquiring in all subject areas, 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.
In this culminating experience, students chose three artifacts to present how Theory of Knowledge manifests in the world around us. They wrote accompanying commentaries to accompany their objects, and discussed them with all visitors to the exhibit, including teachers, students, and administrators alike. Questions that students generated on their own throughout the exhibition included:
● What is the relationship between knowledge and culture?
● Is bias inevitable in the production of knowledge?
● What role do experts play in influencing our consumption or acquisition of knowledge?
● How might the context in which knowledge is presented influence whether it is accepted or rejected?
● On what grounds might we doubt a claim?
● How can we know that current knowledge is an improvement upon past knowledge?
● Does some knowledge belong only to a particular community of knowers?
In Theory of Knowledge, which is available to all juniors and seniors within and beyond the IB Diploma, students think deeply, grapple with exciting interdisciplinary ideas, discuss texts each day, and respond to open-ended and complex questions. The course begins in the spring semester of junior year and continues in the 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
International Baccalaureate Organization. “Resources Recognition Library.” International Baccalaureate®, www.ibo.org/university-admission/ib-recognition-resources-and-document-library/#dp_briefs.