Theory of Knowledge – Trip to Desaru

On the first weekend of the Michaelmas Term, the Lower Sixth departed for a residential trip to Desaru on the south-east coast of Johor. The objective of the outing was not only to help our cohort bond and relax before the school year got into full swing, but also to introduce to us what makes the IB Diploma truly unique, and to provide us with some insight into what the mysterious Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course is all about.

Apart from our enjoyable breaks which we spent either at the beach, the pool or the game centre, we also had a 45 minute presentation from each of the six beaks who came with us. During these sessions, we learnt how TOK interlinks with each and every subject, whether it be English, Maths, or Economics.

When asked what TOK was, most students generally responded with “Learning to question anything and everything we are taught to believe, instead of just agreeing with it all.”

At the heart of TOK is the emphasis on critical thinking. It aims to provide us with the analytical tools for us to forge a better understanding of our departmental subjects. TOK starts by asking ‘what is the scope of this area of knowledge?’ For example, if you’re doing an art project, you would start by asking, ‘What is art? How is art valued? How can you put a price on it? Is it based on the artist or the content of the piece?’ TOK places the emphasis on asking questions about our knowledge, as often the answers are open-ended.

Overall, we had a really good time, and we learnt to think more deeply about what we are taught to believe, instead of accepting the many assumptions that are made on our behalf. We would like to thank all the beaks involved in making this trip happen, as it was definitely a memorable one.

Alia Khalysa Yazid and Aleeza Yusuf
Lower Sixth, Wallace



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