For many senior school students, the International Baccalaureate (IB) program is a large part of their Grammar experience. We recently spoke with Mr. Bhathena about the course he teaches at Grammar for the IB program, Theory of Knowledge (TOK).
A course taught over two years to senior school students, TOK encourages students reflect on the knowledge that they have learned throughout their academic careers, as well as their personal life experiences. Throughout the year, Mr. Bhathena guides the students in the exploration of their knowledge and helps them examine different ways of thinking. This includes looking at such fields as natural science as well as the indigenous knowledge system.
Each year, students are presented with six prescribed statements. Grade 11 students are asked to develop a presentation, while Grade 12 students are required to write a short essay. They must take a position on one of these statements and apply their knowledge as well as real-life scenarios. Students are expected to highlight not only the points that support their argument but those that would be considered counterpoints as well.
In Mr. Bhathena's words, “What’s great about TOK is that it requires students to look at these scenarios from different points of view. This makes us question what we know to be true, and to not just assume what we think of as 'knowledge' to be correct.”
This year, the students applied their past knowledge, as well as the varying knowledge systems they examine throughout the year, to different ethical scenarios. This included how ethics apply to everything from the arts to athletics, as well as the exploration of what it means to be a human in today's world.
Congratulations to our Grade 11 and Grade 12 students on their continuing exploration of knowledge!