TOK – First Impressions

When we first were told that we had to do TOK I immediately shrugged my shoulders. I thought it was a thing on the side that wouldn’t require too much mental exercise. I think everyone was hit with a blow when Mr Saha said that if we fail TOK and the extended essay we would therefore in turn fail the IB.

To me this was not funny.

Suddenly a minor ‘thing on the side’ became a matter of pass or fail. That would mean that all the hard work over the two years and initial risk taking would all be over and amplified by the sound of A-level students in hysterics.

After Mr Saha had set us the prep to read the introduction and chapter 1 of the textbook, I was surprisingly intrigued. In theory it sounded like any teachers heaven, to shift students away from this obsession with As and A*, university places and additions to their CV. Personally I found this hard to grasp. After months (if not years) of being spoon fed and told to ALWAYS trust the teacher and the textbook we were being told to actually think on our own feet. WOW! If only I had not got so used this system and religiously memorised the definition of numerous words from textbooks maybe I wouldn’t find grasping the concept of TOK so hard.

However, I am hugely looking forward to the two years ahead and will hopefully at the end be able to state my own opinion without having to feel hesitant that it is invalid or has less authority than my teacher or a smartly-dressed Cambridge graduate.

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8 thoughts on “TOK – First Impressions”

  1. From this I have got a very good understanding of what you are feeling. I am also thinking that you share some of the similar views as I do. Thank you for enlightening me 🙂 😛

  2. This is a fantastic first blog post, Mary! What I think is remarkable is that you not only seem to have understood right from the start what I believe is at the heart of TOK- an interrogating and problematizing of knowledge issues- but have also opened yourself up to the potentialities of it in a genuine and personal way. If by the end of the course you feel that you have achieved your aim of being able to state your own opinions with confidence and not have an undue reverence of anybody’s or anything’s authority, then you will have gained something which will be of value to you for the whole of your life..

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