The Extended Essay
The Extended Essay (compulsory for IB Diploma students only) is an independent research paper of approximately 4000 words in one of the subjects of the IB curriculum. Each student is assigned a supervisor from the school’s teaching staff who will assist and advise with the planning, development and completion of the essay. The Extended Essay provides excellent preparation for the kind of research work required at many colleges and universities. These Essays are assessed by an external examiner.
Theory of Knowledge
Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is a required course for the full IB Diploma, while it remains only an optional course for the IST High School Diploma. It focuses on developing skills of critical analysis and thought. In the course each student examines various ways of knowing, including sense perception, emotion, language, reasoning, imagination, intuition, faith and memory, as well as various areas of knowledge, including the arts, mathematics, history, ethics, natural science, human science, indigenous knowledge systems and religious knowledge systems. At the forefront of discussions and class activities will be the central questions, all of which revolve around the core TOK concepts: belief, certainty, culture, evidence, explanation, experience, interpretation, values, truth and technology.
In class, we use knowledge questions to examine the knowledge claims made from various knowledge perspectives. Some of the core knowledge questions discussed in TOK classes are:
- How do we know?
- How do we know this is true?
- What makes us be certain about what we claim to know?
- What are the issues of knowledge (its acquisition/ verification/ justification or presentation)?
- What are the links between different ways of knowing and areas of knowledge?
The formal assessment of TOK is based upon an essay of 1600 words, which is assessed externally, as well as an internally assessed presentation (10 minutes per candidate).