Introduction to Theory of Knowledge - PDF

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					             Introduction to Theory of Knowledge

1. Attendance and Class Participation
For students to succeed in TOK, it is crucial that they are in class every day. Much of the
learning will come from discussion, group work, and student presentations, experiences that
cannot be easily replaced by individual assignments or private tutorials.

2. Make-up Work
        A. According to Sam Houston High School’s Student and Parent Handbook, “Credit for make-
up work can be given for excused absences only. Students will receive a zero for each grade taken
during unexcused absences.” The handbook also stipulates that major papers that are turned in late
will be penalized thirty points, regardless of whether the absence was excused or unexcused.
        B. If you are absent, you can check my website ( for assignments and
handouts. Or you can check the make-up notebook when you return.

3. Access to Computers and the Internet
Many of your assignments will require you to have ready access to a computer and to the
Internet. If you do not have access at home, you should plan to use the resources available at
school, at your local public library, or perhaps at a friend’s house.

4. Academic Honesty
I will not tolerate any form of academic dishonesty. If you are caught cheating or plagiarizing, I
will lower your grade for the assignment and lower your citizenship grade. Do your own work,
and do it the best you can, following all of Sam Houston’s and IB’s standards of integrity.

5. Portfolio
Your learning in TOK depends less on memorizing information and more on careful reflection
on a wide range of interrelated issues. Ideas you encounter at the beginning of the course will
connect to ideas you encounter much later, so it’s important that you keep everything
organized. Because of this, you will be required to keep a portfolio of all your work, which you
will bring to class each day and which I will evaluate at the end of each unit. To set up your
portfolio, you need the following:
        A. 1 ½ ” three-ring binder
        B. 8 dividers, labeled as follows:
                The Knower
                Ways of Knowing
                Math and Science
                History and Human Sciences
                Ethics and Religion
        C. Loose-leaf notebook paper

6. Grading
Each six-weeks grade will be based on the following assignments:
       A. Major paper
       B. Oral presentation
       C. Portfolio assessment
       D. Daily grades

7. IB Assessments
         A. Students give an oral presentation, individually or in groups. The presentation will last
ten minutes per student and will address any issue relevant to TOK. It will focus on a real-world
situation that has TOK implications, and can incorporate a variety of visual forms, including such
things as skits, videos, dramatic readings, or interviews. It will be assessed internally by the TOK
teacher and by the student in a self-evaluation. The official presentation will be given during the
final six weeks of the second semester, but students will give several practice presentations during
the year.
         B. Each year, IB publishes ten questions for TOK, and students choose one that they address
in an essay of 1200 to 1600 words. The essay must demonstrate the student’s own thinking about
specific knowledge issues and apply them to concrete examples and case studies. It will be assessed
externally. The official paper will be due in December, but students will write several practice essays
during the year.
         C. Although it is not a formal part of the course, TOK will oversee parts of IB’s Extended
Essay, a 4000-word paper demonstrating the students’ independent research. In the spring of the
junior year, students will select a topic and be assigned a supervisor. Students will research and
write over the summer and during the fall of their senior year. The essay is due at the end of the fall