Theory of Knowledge in the IB

By Mrs K Woodhouse, Head of IB

Image: A piece of work by Hannah P, Olivia W and Anna U - considering why scientific reporting maybe unreliable.

Theory of Knowledge forms part of the Core of the IB Diploma Programme. It is designed to promote critical thinking, to get students to question where their knowledge comes from and begin to appreciate the links between different areas of studies.

Lower Sixth students have started the Theory of Knowledge course with a unit designed to encourage reflection on 'students as knowers,' thinking about how what they know might be shaped by education, beliefs, community and values. Recently they have begun to look at how we construct knowledge in the Human and Natural Sciences. In each case we have looked at methodologies and ethics and also considered why it is so important that the information presented to us is reliable.

The Upper Sixth have reached the end of the taught part of the programme and are completing the first drafts of their essays which will be assessed by the IB in the summer. The titles for this year's essays are interesting and challenging and students have worked hard to use the knowledge they have gained throughout the course to develop excellent essay plans. One of the most popular titles this year is; 'If nothing is more exciting than fresh ideas, why are we so slow to adopt them?' This has led students to think about examples from all over the academic curriculum as well as linking the prompt to some societal issues.

It has been great to speak to so many Year 11 students and their families who might be considering taking the IBDP in the Sixth Form next year. If you would like more information please do not hesitate to contact me ( There is a link here to the IB webinar which took place last week if anyone was unable to attend but would like to know more: 

View the IB Webinar