Manifesting the World Around us: TOK Exhibition


Text by Grace Stearns, Upper School TOK Teacher

The Theory of Knowledge (TOK) Exhibition is the Internal Assessment for the course which is the core requirement of the International Baccalaureate  (IB) program. Full IB students complete the exhibition at the end of Grade 11 and are asked to create an exploration of three objects of their choosing. The goal of the exhibition is to show how the concepts of TOK like certainty, knowledge, truth, culture, perspectives, etc. manifest in the world around us.  The exhibition also needs to be centered around one of the themes that we explore in the class in Grade 11. 

This year’s class looked at the core theme of Knowledge and the Knower (how do we as individual knowers perceive the world), as well as the optional themes of Knowledge and Indigenous Societies, and Knowledge and Technology (with the assistance of Upper School Art Teacher, Ms. Melannie Hurtado).   

This year’s students chose themes ranging from Is bias inevitable in the production of knowledge? Are some things unknowable? and explored objects ranging from Kanye West’s debut album The College Dropout to the Nahuatl language conservation application called Vamos a Aprender Nahuatl.  

One of the challenges of the TOK exhibition is narrowing down these big ideas and concepts to specific objects and then extracting evidence from the objects.  

 TOK challenges full IB students to consider the world beyond disciplinary and content based knowledge and make connections between all of their full IB courses and the world around them.