Personal Knowledge Essays

Personal Knowledge Essays-69
There is no substitute for your own personal thought and reflection, and these notes are not intended as a cut and paste substitute to the hard work that thinking requires.Some of the comments on one title may be useful to you in the approach you are taking in the title that you have personally chosen, so it may be useful to read all the comments and give them some reflection.The notes here are intended to guide you towards a thoughtful, personal response to the prescribed titles posed.

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Remember to include sufficient TOK content in your essay.

When you have completed your essay, ask yourself if it could have been written by someone who had not participated in the TOK course.

What is the knowledge that allows or drives an individual to chose to become a member of Medicins Sans Frontieres rather than choosing the more ‘powerful’ other options which are available to that individual, for instance?

Clearly, this is a ‘knowledge’ of some thing which the majority do not accept, but is it the knowledge of the art of medicine itself or the knowledge that brings one to make such a choice that is most important? One can see here the ‘value’ estimations which we use when we think of what knowledge is and these value estimations are part of the “shared knowledge” that we have in our possession and that has been given over to us.

with an opportunity to become engaged in thinking and reflection.

What are outlined below are strategies for deconstructing the TOK titles as they have been given.The rendering of reasons is based on the principle of reason as a way of knowing (“nothing without reason” or “nothing is without a reason or a cause”).The rendering of reasons is what we call “evidence”.In TOK, we call this account our WOKs or our ways of knowing.Our ways of knowing are our renderings of the accounts of things: the ‘what’, the ‘why’, and the ‘how’ of some thing.If the answer to that question is “yes”, then you do not have sufficient TOK content in your essay.Personal and shared knowledge, the knowledge framework, the ways of knowing and the areas of knowledge are terms that you need to reference in your discussions. “The knowledge questions that arise from within title #1 are in its use of the concepts of “quality”, “knowledge”, “measured”, “how many people”, and “accept”.My experience has been that candidates whose examples match those to be found on TOK “help” sites (and this is of those TOK help sites) struggle to demonstrate a mastery of the knowledge claims and knowledge questions contained in the examples.The best essays carry a trace of a struggle that is the journey on the path to thinking.The world and its resources viewed as “disposable” to our ends is our “empowerment”, and the value of this “empowerment” is recognized by our communities through our “shared knowledge” in the construction of what our curriculums will be in our education and in the awarding of the variety of positions of power within our communities for those who have mastered those curriculums or those who have gained the theoretical and practical knowledge that is to be found through those curriculums or our “shared knowledge”.In order for something to be considered “knowledge”, an account must be rendered of what that “something” is.


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