Theory of Knowledge

Knowledge, we know, is not learned by rote, it is acquired.  The Theory of Knowledge course at the center of Newman’s IB curriculum examines knowledge at its very core.  Together, students and teachers examine the origins and validity of various forms of knowledge.

Content for the course originates from the subject areas the students are learning as well as their own personal beliefs.  Art, history, science and math – we interweave knowledge from all its sources, contemplating moral, ethical and scientific questions within the context of the world today.

The process is critical reflection on what the student claims to know and what is professed as knowledge by others. Students of different cultural backgrounds are encouraged to compare and contrast their diverse attitudes and perceptions. With this focus on inquiry, there may not be right or wrong answers, but there are standards for judgement and defenses of knowledge claims.

Course Aims and Objectives:

  • Students develop a critical capacity to consider and understand the importance of evaluating knowledge claims

  • Students learn to be aware of subjective and ideological biases

  • Students develop a concern for rigor in formulating knowledge claims, and intellectual honesty

  • Students make connections between personal experience and Ways of Knowing and Areas of Knowledge through linking questions

  • Students demonstrate an understanding of the influence that personal views, judgements and beliefs have on their own knowledge

  • Students can use oral and written language to communicate ideas clearly and appropriately

  • Students demonstrate an understanding of knowledge at work in the world

Theory of Knowledge Program Topics

- Knowers and Knowing

- Areas of Knowledge

- Mathematics

- Natural Sciences

- Human Sciences

- History

- The Arts

- Ethics

- Ways of Knowing

- Language

- Reason

- Sense Perception

- Emotion

- Imagination

- Faith

- Intuition

- Memory