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The 2023 TOK Exhibition

The IB is renowned for its program which makes students delve into a variety of subjects, but also foster their critical thinking skills. In the core of the IB program and critical thinking lies Theory of Knowledge (TOK). In TOK, IB students explore the nature of knowledge and its impact on their learning and worldviews. TOK asks students to reflect on questions such as: What is knowledge? How do we know what we know? How do our opinions and beliefs shape our knowledge? The grading in TOK is based on the TOK Exhibition, and TOK essay regarding the exhibition.

In the TOK exhibition each student chooses a knowledge question out of 35 options, and 3 personal objects that will be used to address the question. The 3 objects, the question, and the answer the student drew from the objects will be presented at the exhibition for students, parents, and teachers to see. The Nesbru IB class of 2024 had their exhibition on the 19th of October in Nesbru VGS.

The exhibition was exciting and varied. The students brought a wide range of items, including artworks, a laser, the O.J. Simpson case, and religious texts like the Quran and Rigveda.

One of the exhibition stands had the prompt “why do we seek knowledge” and the objects selected were a watercolour palette, an iPad, and a Chinese textbook. It was then explained to us the value of each object and how the author used them to answer the question.

The watercolour palette represented to them how knowledge can change, since they first were drawn to it as an interesting art media. As time went on however, they discovered that they, in fact, didn’t enjoy painting with them. The iPad was used to represent how they sought new knowledge. after realizing they didn’t enjoy watercolours, they wanted to find a new way of doing art, therefore they decided to try digital art. The last object was a Chinese textbook, while this object doesn't seem to have a connection with the other two it was explained to us how the author used it to seek a specific knowledge, one that was not sought on free will but because it was necessary for them.

For another stand the objects used were a mathematics formula booklet, a Buddha statue and a copy of the “Liberty Leading the People” painting. Those were used to answer the question “To what extent is certainty attainable?”

The author explained that their formula booklet for mathematics provided them with factual, verified knowledge. Written with the sole purpose of education, by a trustworthy company, they can rely on the booklet to reach correct results. For them it has a lot of objective value and a consistent reputation, therefore it makes the content reliable. The second object, a Buddha statue was used to compare the spiritual thoughts and subjective meanings it carries compared to the scientific certainty of the previous one. The last object was a copy of Eugene Delacroix's painting “Liberty Leading the People”, which was used to address how knowledge can be certain and subjective at the same time. We all know that art usually provides us with only one perspective of a situation, and it is because of that that it can be considered both things.

Along with the exhibition, the year below, the graduating IB class of 2025, hosted a bake sale during the exhibition. Some students baked brownies, chocolate cake, and muffins, and the whole class contributed by taking turns running the stand. In total the class made 800 kr, all of which was donated to Red Cross Norway.


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