31 May 2016

Understanding the TOK Presentation Rubric

The holistic TOK Presentation rubric asks one main question:

Do(es) the presenter(s) succeed in showing how TOK concepts can have practical application? 

However, if you are a student, what does this mean in practice? Last year I began teaching the rubric as having three main parts, which has shown to be helpful. A great presentation will take into account all three of these main parts.

Just because we can break down the Presentation Rubric into 3 parts does not mean these parts are weighted equally. The Exploration of the Knowledge Question should be seen as the "meat" of the TOK Presentation sandwich, with the Knowledge Question formulation and the Outcomes of Analysis serving as the bread. The better the ingredients of the middle of the sandwich are, the better the sandwich is overall.

The 3 Main Parts of the TOK Presentation Rubric

1. Knowledge Question formulation

Formulating a good Knowledge Question is the first step in a successful TOK Presentation. A TOK Presentation KQ needs to be directly derived from the RLS. It might be helpful to look at the "Think TOK Model" developed by OUP to understand the formulation process.
Understanding the Level 5 descriptors for #1:
  • Well-formulated means it is 2nd order, focused on TOK concepts, and can be applied generally to more than the RLS in question
  • Clearly connected to a specified RLS means that you can clearly explain the development of the KQ from the RLS by using an understanding of knowledge claims
TK/PPD Application
"Explain the connection between your real-life situation and your knowledge question:"
  • Students should be able to explain how they got from their RLS to their stated KQ by explaining their progression from:
    • RLS to isolated 1st Order Knowledge Claim
    • move from 1st Order KC to 2nd Order KC by replacing 1st order language with 2nd order language using the "tools and language of TOK"
    • Creation of KQ from extracted 2nd Order KC and explain why the KQ is important to investigate with reference to the RLS.
Student Check
Create a quick 2 minute prototype of your RLS to KQ using this Stage 1 Planner. Then say it out loud to an audience to get feedback.

2. Exploration of Knowledge Question

Exploring the Knowledge Question is the heart of the TOK Presentation. The exploration is the main way to show how TOK concepts have practical application. Exploration in the presentation should mainly stay in the 2nd Order world, connecting the RLS and KQ using the tools and language of TOK. The exploration should help create and understanding of the KQ by developing 2nd order knowledge claims that use the TOK framework selected by the student(s). To understand this exploration phase a bit better, we can look at the official IB deconstruction of an exemplar TOK Presentation.

Understanding the Level 5 descriptors for #2:
  • Effective exploration means that the analysis is based within the framework of the Ways of Knowing, Areas of Knowledge, and Personal vs. Shared Knowledge, that we use in TOK
  • Convincing argumentation means that the exploration is based on an insightful, well-thought out and understandable reasoning process
  • Investigation of different perspectives means that you have taken into account how other knower(s) might view the analysis on the KQ itself, not merely different perspectives within the KQ.  This can be done in many ways; usually a consideration of other TOK concepts is helpful (for example: belief, bias, certainty, culture, evidence, experience, explanation, interpretation, intuition, justification, limitations, reliability, subjectivity, truth, values)
TK/PPD Application
"Outline how you intend to develop your TOK Presentation in the context of your real-life situation. Include analysis..."
  • A TOK Analysis an exploration of a knowledge question that creates an argument for a (possible) conclusion to the knowledge question. This is the heart of the TOK Presentation—showing how TOK has practical application.
  • Student need to develop and document a TOK Analysis of their stated KQ, along with creating at least one or more different perspectives on their analysis. As a general guideline:
    • For groups of 1, the student should create 1 TOK Analysis and different perspective
    • For groups of 2, students should create at least 2 TOK Analyses and at least 1 different perspective
    • For groups of 3, student should create at least 3 TOK Analyses and at least 2 different perspectives
Student Check
Practice creating a TOK Analysis using this handout. Then create an outline of your work using this Stage 2 Planner.

3. Outcomes of Analysis

The outcomes are the "conclusions" about how to "answer" the KQ. This is the main reason why there is a presentation--because there are insights to share with others. An outcome is a 2nd order claim rooted in the chosen TOK framework by the students(s). These should be clearly stated and connect directly back to the real-life situation. If we look back above to the exemplar, the outcomes of the analysis was that scientific prediction as a validation tool has both strengths and weaknesses, which were then applied back to the RLS in question, and to others in both the Natural and Human Sciences. 

One of my better TOK Presentations last year focused on the KQ: In what ways is knowledge dependent on language. Their main outcome (2nd order knowledge claim) was that knowledge is dependent on language in many ways, but that we can communicate our knowledge in more ways than just through language, for example with art and emotion. This proved to be an excellent way to both understand the KQ and to apply the outcome more generally to other RLSs. 

Understanding the Level 5 descriptors for #3:
  • Showing significance to the RLS in question and to others means that the outcomes are compelling, that they do influence the way knowledge is created, and that these conclusions can also be applied to other non-connected RLSs
TK/PPD Application
"Show the significance of your conclusions with particular reference to your real-life situation and indicate how those conclusions might be relevant to other real-life situations"
  • The results of your TOK Analysis should be clear, 2nd order knowledge claims. These 2nd order knowledge claim should be directly connected back to the original real-life situation in a way that helps us "knowers" understand the knowledge question better, and might serve as a possible "answer" to the main knowledge question. 
  • Showing relevance to other RLSs means that the conclusions reached in the TOK Analysis are not limited to just one RLS, but that they have a wider reach, and can give insights into how knowledge is acquired and/or constructed in general.
    • The simplest way to do this is to show how the conclusion can be applied to other RLSs that are not connected to the primary RLS.
Student Check
You should be able to easily state to anyone who asks:

  • what your conclusion is, 
  • how and why it matters to helping you "answer" your Knowledge Question, and 
  • the conclusions impact on your identified RLS. 

.   .   .

Dividing the TOK Presentation Rubric up into these three main parts should help both the teacher and the presenter(s) create superstar worthy TOK Presentations.


1 comment:

  1. Nice post, Joe! I think we will read through this with the kids!


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