TOK “is a course about critical thinking and inquiring
into the process of knowing, rather than about
learning a speciic body of knowledge” (IBO 2013: 8).

Some of my personal reflections on the subject of ‘critical thinking’:

Interesting in terms of students’ and teachers’ perceptions of the teaching of ‘critical thinking’.  I don’t work with or in the IB, but as a teacher educator, critical thinking skills have become a topic of some consternation for some of my (pre-service teacher) students.  Although they seem to be happy with the idea of ‘teaching’ critical thinking skills, they are not so happy about being expected to practice it themselves, and demonstrate their abilities in this area through their ‘assessment tasks’.  This can be quite paradoxical, as they ‘critique’ my own emphasis and expectations, but they do not think that this should be reflected in the work that they produce.  I guess that’s the point, that it is through the processes of thinking critically, they are honing their skills, and the final product (for which the marks are awarded) should not be so important.  (But they are… Oh, assessment, another theme of eternal struggle…)

I think I need to read some more on the subject…

Theory of knowledge (TOK): Exploring learning outcomes, benefits and perceptions
Based on a research report prepared for the IB by:
Associate Professor David R Cole, Associate Professor Susanne
Gannon, Dr Jacqueline Ullman and Mr Paul Rooney
University of Western Sydney
June 2014

This summary was developed by the IB Research
Department. A copy of the full report is available at http://
http://www.ibo.org/research. For more information on this study
or other IB research, please email research@ibo.org.

To cite the full report, please use the following:

Cole, DR, Gannon S, Ullman J, Rooney P. 2014. Theory of
knowledge (TOK): Exploring learning outcomes, beneits and
perceptions. Bethesda, MD, USA. International Baccalaureate


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