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IB teachers - theory of knowledge - advice please

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by ann5an, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. hi all
    I am looking for some more advice on TOK. Can anyone tell me what seems a reasonable time allocation - per week - to co-ordinate the course? Also, what is the recommended teacher:pupil ratio to successfully teach TOK.

    As always....many thanks for any replies and advice.
     
  2. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    The answers to both questions must depend on the size of the school's IBDP and therefore ToK programme. We give four periods pw and some cash, but there are 120+ students on the Diploma course and six members of the ToK team to co ordinate
    I've seen ToK classes of as few as 8 and as many as 14 students, and regard the latter as the upper limit. Indeed most IB schools would see 14 or conceivably 16 as a maximum number for any class at any level. Of course, in other subjects the numbers are determined by demand, whereas everyone has to do ToK. A cricket team of XI is probably the ideal number.
     
  3. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    You asked a question relating to this issue previously. My impression now, as then, is that you really do not know ToK and are trying to get together material either for an interview or you have been accepted for a position and are now trying to see what it entails.
    Either way, this is not the type of question that should be asked by a ToK co-ordinator, potential or otherwise.
    If you do not know anything about the IB approach to ToK, then give me an email address and I will email you the official IB guidelines. They should be able to help you.
     
  4. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    As I'm not in my office and don't have the various IB links on my home pc I can't check, but are these documents only availble through OCC or are the available on the public site? If the latter a short cut may suffice. (sorry, I can't be bothered to search ib.org myself right now.)
     
  5. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    As far as I know, only on the OCC site. They are hardly state secrets, so I am not too worried about sending them to anyone who requests them.
     
  6. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    I'm not sure that was what MM meant, Karvol, and I'm absolutely certain that he would not turn you in to the Geneva Gestapo as he is one of us 'poacher turned gamekeeper' head teachers, still in his heart of hearts an anti-establishment rogue.
    You can send such a Likely Lad to NPQH courses as often as you like, you'll never make him all bad.
     
  7. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

  8. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

  9. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    The IBO does rather remind me of a cult. When I was going for an interview a few years ago and didn't know much about PYP, a very kind person on this forum who is an IB trainer sent me lots of his stuff used for training with the proviso that I never share it with anyone or tell anyone that he gave it to me. It did make me wonder what I was getting into and subsequent experience with the IB and IBO hasn't lessened that feeling. They should have a secret, smug handshake or something.
     
  10. ian60

    ian60 New commenter

    But we do Yasi!

    You are clearly not 'one of us' quite yet.

     
  11. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    Heehee! No I am clearly not Ian but somehow that isn't making me lose any sleep! How are you going in your 'new' setting? Hope all goes well.
     
  12. TOK= *** basically!

     
  13. try again shall we....balls...and locks!
     
  14. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Why rise to this?
    Well, just to point out to the OP that this is part of the joy and the challenge of teaching ToK.
    Every year, you meet a new batch of youngsters, some already accustomed to serious reflection about the knowledge they have acquired and the values and authorities which have governed their lives so far.
    Others are still delightful children happily rooted at the centre of their own universe but ripe for the next stage, and yours is the honour and pleasure of accompanying them.
    ... and inevitably there'll also be someone like mamboman.
    Usually male, this adolescent seems convinced that he already knows what little he needs to know in life, and that any attempt to probe further or open brighter horizons than those to be found inside his Y-fronts is useless, and possibly dangerously effeminate, chit-chat.
    Philistine and proud of it, militantly ignorant, this specimen is nonetheless more to be pitied than feared. His aggressive rejection of your attempts to coax his brain into action spring from his insecurities.
    Don't be confrontational, don't rise to the lumpen challenge, be gentle and let him gradually see that his peers are learning and thriving... and you may well have him drinking deep at the fount of knowledge before long...
    ...two years later, and this ugly duckling has become a sophisticated, empathetic adult who knows how to contribute deciseively, coherently and constructively, who has his own solidly based opinions and an understanding of potential counterclaims. An articulate thoughtful adult who is able to analyse the underlying causes and possibilities of daily life as a matter of course.
    Or not.
    For ike everything in this game, it's "win some, lose some."
    You may find, to your dismay and his lifelong disadvantage, that the penny never drops.
    Then, alas, your student will enter adult life still certain that the world is a very simple place with his very simple self at the centre - and before long he is out on forums like this one, making an embarrassingly proud display of his narrow mind, offering only one coarse word to the conversation and unable even to communicate that without two attempts.
     
  15. I don't teach overseas (well technically I do - I'm French and I teach in your glorious native country) but I did envisage it at one point, which is why I often lurk on these threads and see what I am missing out on. This particular thread caught my attention as I have developed an interest in ToK and wondered what others had to say on the subject.
    Little did I know I was in for such a treat... SMT Dude, thank you so much: this post has made my morning.


     
  16. Just a quick update: your post has made my day, and with any luck, will stretch until the end of the week... That's another reason why I lurk on here: reading erudite wit and elegant sarcasm make my (working) days a bit brighter.
     
  17. Well SMT dude, when you have to sit through TOK presentations with scintillating titles such as 'does colour exist?' and 'is history bunk?' followed by a load of sixth form pseudo-intellectual codswallop you would think the same about TOK! Most students think so too by the way. I do not think teaching sixth formers bad philosophy is a good idea. I have a masters in it by the way, not bad for a philistine eh? No, not 'bad philosophy' anticipating your sarcastic reply!
     
  18. Well SMT dude, when you have to sit through TOK presentations with scintillating titles such as 'does colour exist?' and 'is history bunk?' followed by a load of sixth form pseudo-intellectual codswallop you would think the same about TOK! Most students think so too by the way. I do not think teaching sixth formers bad philosophy is a good idea. I have a masters in it by the way, not bad for a philistine eh? No, not 'bad philosophy' anticipating your sarcastic reply!
     
  19. ...and all TOK coordinators say 'it's not philosophy'...it is!!!
     

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