Take out a FREE 30-day trial to eduu.school; our new learning platform with integrated wellbeing support

How we teach Theory of Knowledge effectively using Hodder Education resources

Leysin American School, Leysin, Switzerland

Daryl Hitchcock, Theory of Knowledge Head of Department, Leysin American School, Leysin, Switzerland

"This text feels modern and of the moment. I believe it is perfectly placed to accompany the student and teacher as they approach a course that has undergone a major update to the structure."

In their recent addition to the array of TOK offerings Carolyn Henly and John Sprague have brought together an impressive set of resources, readings, lesson starters, and activities. Compiled to address the new course guide for first teaching in 2020, here we have an approach to Theory of Knowledge that feels fresh and vibrant while still grounding the student in the time honored ways to approach the always difficult question of “How does one know?” 

From the outset it is clear that this book is focused on taking the teacher and the student in a new direction. We begin with a treatment of the terms that form the core concepts of the new TOK guide and upon which the course will be structured. This is not unchartered territory, but seeing these terms front and center, and approaching them in clear and concise ways will allow students to gain a solid foundation in the terminology that will underpin the knowledge questions that are essential for success in Theory of Knowledge. 

From there the authors guide students through the complex world of knowledge and the knower. Here the student will find those classic examples one would expect (Plato’s Allegory of the Cave) combined with interesting, new presentations of the cartography of knowledge through Henly and Sprague’s thorough treatment of the map metaphor. This treatment of the map metaphor will allow students to really make sense of this difficult concept and should allow for a firm foundation upon which to build. Students will understand the building blocks and methods upon which we can begin to make knowledge claims. 

As the rest of the book unfolds, the student will find a rich offering of activities, scaffolding of key terms in accessible call out boxes, extensions for deeper thinking and assessment tips. The chapters clearly define the student outcomes while also identifying connections to other parts of the course. Case studies are interspersed throughout each chapter and give life and vitality (and precious real-world examples) upon which the student can begin to frame and construct their new found knowledge building skills. 

This text feels modern and of the moment. I believe it is perfectly placed to accompany the student and teacher as they approach a course that has undergone a major update to the structure. The author’s examples are current, interesting and should resonate with students who are faced with daily decisions about how to evaluate information in our increasingly complex world.
 

Find out more about Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma Fourth Edition >