Diploma Programme (DP)

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is a two year comprehensive and rigorous academic programme for academically ambitious students in grades 11 and 12. The programme originated in Europe in 1968 and was intended to establish a common curriculum and university entry credential for students moving from one country to another. ALS was authorized to teach IB diploma programme on May 19, 2009. The IB Diploma Programme is highly regarded at universities worldwide. The comprehensive programme emphasizes academic excellence as well as personal development in areas such as philosophy and community service. The goals of the IB Programme reach beyond academic preparation. The IB Programme prides itself on helping to develop students who are critical thinkers, tolerant, caring, and internationally-minded.

The Diploma Programme prepares students for university and encourages them to:

  • Ask challenging questions
  • Learn how to learn
  • Develop a strong sense of their own identity and culture
  • Develop the ability to communicate with and understand people from other countries and cultures

The DP curriculum contains six subject groups together with a core made up of three separate parts. Students study six subjects selected from the subject groups. Normally three subjects are studied at higher level (courses representing 240 teaching hours), and the remaining three subjects are studied at standard level (courses representing 150 teaching hours). Each subject course is completed over a two year period. Students sit external exams in May of their Grade 12 year.

Subjects

Students following the Diploma Programme at ALS have to study 6 subjects, one from each IB group:

Language A Language and Literature: English HL and SL, Arabic HL and SL

The Group 1 subjects of the IB Diploma Programme refer to the student’s first language which is the student’s native language or otherwise best language, taken at either Standard Level (SL) or Higher Level (HL). The course focuses on developing oral and written communication skills and performing literary analysis of works of literature produced in that language. Students who take two languages A courses are eligible to be awarded a bilingual IB Diploma.

SYLLABUS OUTLINE

The HL programme has 4 compulsory components with a total of 6 works. The SL program has 4 compulsory components with a total of 4 works.

Part 1 – Language in a Cultural Context:

This part includes exploration of literary (HL) and non-literary texts. Through this part, students’ explore the importance of context to understanding of texts. Students will come to understand how audience, purpose, theme, content, tone, mood, stylistic techniques and structure help construct meaning.

Part 2 – Language and Mass Communication:

This part includes exploration of literary (HL) and non-literary texts. Through this part students’ explore how language can be manipulated for certain effects. By looking at the mechanics of different texts, exploring rhetorical devices and studying advertising techniques, students will begin to understand how language is used to inform, persuade and entertain.

Part 3 Texts and Contexts:

This part of study requires students to explore the contexts in which literary texts are written and received. It encourages greater awareness of the relationship between the writer, reader, culture and text. Many of the texts are taken from the prescribed list of authors (PLA) by the IB. One text is taken from the prescribed literature in translation (PLT). HL students study three texts and SL study two.

Part 4 – Critical Study:

This part of the course requires greater understanding of the mechanics of literature, exploring various literary devices, such as point of view, irony and figurative language. Through this study, students will gain a better understanding and appreciation of texts. Part four texts are selected from the PLA. Students at higher level study three texts and students at SL study two.

Language B

Language B is a language acquisition course developed at two levels—standard level (SL) and higher level (HL)—for students with some background in the target language. While acquiring a language, students will explore the culture(s) connected to it. The focus of these courses is language acquisition and intercultural understanding.

The language B syllabus approaches the learning of language through meaning. Through the study of the core and the options at SL and HL, plus two literary works at HL, students build the necessary skills to reach the assessment objectives of the language B course through the expansion of their receptive, productive and interactive skills.

SL and HL are differentiated by the recommended number of teaching hours, the depth of syllabus coverage,
the study of literature at HL, and the level of difficulty and demands of assessment and assessment criteria.

The core—with topics common to both levels—is divided into three areas and is a required area of study.
• Communication and media
• Global issues
• Social relationships

In addition, at both SL and HL, teachers select two from the following five options.
• Cultural diversity
• Customs and traditions
• Health
• Leisure
• Science and technology

Also, at HL, students read two works of literature originally written in the target language.
Language acquisition will be achieved through the development of the receptive, productive and interactive skills and competencies that can be accomplished through a variety of activities in oral and/or written forms.

Language Ab Initio:

This is a two-year course for students who have little or no previous experience of the language. The overall objective of this course is for students to achieve communicative competence in a variety of everyday situations.

Syllabus Outline

This involves a range of skills, including listening, speaking, reading and writing – the four primary language skills.

The central subject areas treated are: the individual, school and work, shopping and public services, food and drink, travelling and leisure, environment, health, and emergency situations, interspersed with cultural information.

Assessment Outline

External assessment

Paper 1: 4 text-handling exercises 30%

Paper 2: 2 writing tasks 25%

Written assignment: A piece of writing, 200–300 words in the studied language 20%

Internal assessment

Individual oral
▪ Presentation of a stimuli
▪ Questions on the stimuli
▪ General conversation 25%

Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS): HL and SL

This course explores the impact of IT on individuals and society. Through this subject students would analyze and evaluate the ethical considerations of using IT at the local and global levels.

SYLLABUS OUTLINE

The ITGS syllabus is divided into three strands: Social and ethical issues, IT systems and Applications to specific scenarios. The three strands are interconnected and a teacher usually uses an integrated approach. Use of real life situations is encouraged and drawing examples from local, national and global levels is considered essential to the course.

ITGS aims

In addition, the aims of the information technology in a global society (ITGS) course at SL and HL are to:

  1. Enable the student to evaluate social and ethical considerations arising from the widespread use of IT by individuals, families, communities, organizations and societies at the local and global level
  2. Develop the student’s understanding of the capabilities of current and emerging IT systems and to evaluate their impact on a range of stakeholder
  3. Enable students to apply their knowledge of existing IT systems to various scenarios and to make informed judgments about the effects of IT developments on them
  4. Encourage students to use their knowledge of IT systems and practical IT skills to justify IT solutions for a specified client or end-user.

Distinction between SL and HL

Students at standard level (SL) and higher level (HL) in ITGS are presented with a syllabus that has a common core consisting of three strands: social and ethical significance, application to specified scenarios, and IT systems. Higher level students also study the HL extension.
The HL course in ITGS differs from the SL course in ITGS as follows.

  • The HL course has 240 hours devoted to teaching, compared with 150 hours for the SL course.
  • HL students study the following as part of the HL extension, which consists of two additional topics in the IT systems strand:
    • IT systems in organizations
    • Robotics, artificial intelligence and expert systems.
  • The HL course has an additional externally assessed component that comprises a pre-seen case study based on a fictitious organization; this allows students to research various aspects of the subject, which may include new technical concepts and additional subject content, in greater depth.
  • The HL topic “IT systems in organizations” requires a study of the theoretical frameworks behind the development of IT-based products and the management of IT projects. This builds on the “Introduction to project management” topic in the SL/HL core, which provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to develop the work for the internal assessment (the project).

Assessment outline—SL

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Assessment outline—HL

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Business and Management: HL and SL

Class of 2015

Business and Management course that is both challenging and dynamic. It teaches the students business decision-making processes and enables them to evaluate the impact of the internal and external environments on businesses.
The course structure includes various modules from the fields of finance, marketing, human
resources, production & operations management and business strategy. The course is designed
to develop an understanding of business theory, as well as an ability to apply business principles, practices and skills. The application of tools and techniques of analysis facilitates an appreciation of complex business activities. Links between the topics are central to the course, and this integration promotes a holistic overview of business activity. The course also integrates social and ethical objectives with the key functions of the business.

Class of 2016

Business and Management course that is both challenging and dynamic. It teaches the students business decision-making processes and enables them to evaluate the impact of the internal and external environments on businesses.
The course structure includes various modules from the fields of finance, marketing, human
resources, production & operations management and business strategy. The course is designed
to develop an understanding of business theory, as well as an ability to apply business principles, practices and skills. The application of tools and techniques of analysis facilitates an appreciation of complex business activities. Links between the topics are central to the course, and this integration promotes a holistic overview of business activity. The course also integrates social and ethical objectives with the key functions of the business. Through the exploration of six concepts underpinning the subject (change, culture, ethics, globalization, innovation and strategy), the business management course allows students to develop their understanding of interdisciplinary concepts from a business management perspective.

SYLLABUS OUTLINE

The syllabus consists of five or six compulsory topics and a Written Assignment.

HL and SL core

  1. Business Organization and Environment
  2. Human Resource
  3. Accounts and Finance
  4. Marketing
  5. Operations Management
  6. HL only

  7. 6.Business strategy

IB History (HL & SL)

Course Description

History is more than the study of the past. It is the process of recording, reconstructing and interpreting the past through the investigation of a variety of sources. It is a discipline that gives people an understanding of themselves and others in relation to the world, both past and present.

Students of history should learn how the discipline works. It is an exploratory subject that poses questions without providing definitive answers. In order to understand the past, students must engage with it both through exposure to primary historical sources and through the work of historians. Historical study involves both selection and interpretation of data and critical evaluation of it. Students of history should appreciate the relative nature of historical knowledge and understanding, as each generation reflects its own world and preoccupations and as more evidence emerges. A study of history both requires and develops an individual’s understanding of, and empathy for, people living in other periods and contexts.

Diploma Programme history consists of a standard level(SL) and higher level(HL) core syllabus comprising an in-depth study of an individual prescribed subject and the selection of two topics.

The international perspective in Diploma Programme history provides a sound platform for the promotion of international understanding and, inherently, the intercultural awareness necessary to prepare students for global citizenship. Above all, it helps to foster respect and understanding of people and events in a variety of cultures throughout the world.

Course Outline

Course Outline

20th century world history—prescribed subjects

  • Communism in crisis 1976–89

20th century world history—topics

  • Origins and development of authoritarian and single-party states
  • The Cold War

HL options

  • Aspects of the history of Europe and the Middle East

SL/HL internal assessment

  • Historical investigation

IB Psychology (SL & HL)

Course Description

Psychology is the systematic study of mental processes and behavior and how these are affected by internal processes and the environment. The study of psychology comes from both the natural and social sciences and includes a variety of research designs and applications. It provides a unique approach to understanding the modern society in which live.

IB psychology also allows for the discovery of cultural diversity and intercultural understanding through a holistic approach. Students are encouraged to develop empathy for others within and outside their own culture which will contribute to a better international understanding.

The IB psychology student will examine the interaction of biological, cognitive and sociocultural influences on human behavior over the course of two years. They will be encouraged to adopt an integrative approach based on scientific and investigative methods that may include experiments, observation, clinical interviews and questionnaires.

Areas of psychology that will be addressed during the first year include physiological origins of human behavior, language and thinking, memory, emotion, and sociocultural interaction. During the second year, students will learn more about abnormal psychology through the psychodynamic level of analysis as well as the psychology of human relationships which focuses on the complexity of interpersonal relationships.

This course will place a heavy emphasis on writing as a way of thinking through the use of the Internal/External Assessments. The internal assessment will be conducted in the fall of the second year and will require the student to write a report over a simple experiment they will design, conduct and analyze.

The external assessment consists of three parts which require the student to write essays on core material, optional material, and qualitative research.

As a result of taking this course, students will gain a better understanding of themselves and a greater appreciation of diverse human behavior by learning how psychological knowledge is obtained, transformed and applied. Special attention will be given to ethical concerns raised by the methodology and application of psychological research.

Course Outline (General)

The following are the topics that will be covered throughout two years

  1. Introduction to Psychology & Research Methods
  2. Biological Perspective
  3. Cognitive Perspective
  4. Sociocultural Perspective
  5. Research Methods Continued – Internal Assessment Rough Draft
  6. Year Two

  7. Abnormal Psychology
  8. Internal Assessment
  9. Psychology of Human Relationships

Internal Assessment

SL & HL students are required to undertake a partial replication of and report on one simple experiment, report results systematically, use descriptive statistics, and produce a written report of between 1,500 and 2,000 words. The study will account for 20% of the course grade and will be scored according to the IB standards.

External Assessment

The assessment of the perspectives involves three written papers. Paper one involves a two-hour essay which is divided into two sections. Section A contains three compulsory short answer questions, one on each perspective. Students are required to answer all questions in this section. Section B contains three extended-response questions. Students are required to answer one question of their choice from this section. The assessment of the option involves a one-hour essay. Paper two includes 15 questions related to the optional topic, Abnormal Psychology. Students must choose 2 questions to answer in essay format in an hour per essay. Finally, paper three requires students to respond to three questions based on unseen text related to qualitative research methodology and they will have one hour to do this portion. These essays are graded externally by IB examiners.

Group 4: Experimental sciences

Experimental science subjects promote an understanding of the concepts, principles and applications of the respective disciplines, together with an appreciation of the methodology of the experimental sciences in general. Students develop practical laboratory skills as well as the ability to work collaboratively through participating in an interdisciplinary group project.

The subjects available in group 4 at Advanced Learning Schools are the following:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics

Biology HL and SL

In this course you will learn about the human body, genes, cloning and genetic engineering, cells and bimolecular, or how life on this planet has evolved? Then biology is your natural science subject! These things and much, much more will be covered in the Diploma biology course. Biology is the science of life and living organisms. It is an experimental science that combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigational skills. The course aims to develop a deep knowledge of important facts as well as give you a broad understanding of the concepts of biology. It also aims to prepare you for further higher education such as medicine, biological- and environmental sciences.

The subject can be studied at standard or higher level, where all students study the subject specific core material and the HL students study additional higher level topics (AHL), and thus will go deeper into the different fields of biology.
The SL and HL Diploma biology include theoretical studies as well as a large number of practical investigations, projects and field studies. This will help you to gain further understanding of the principles and concepts of life.

SYLLABUS OUTLINE
Topics:
Core

  • Topic1. Cell biology
  • Topic2. Molecular biology
  • Topic3. Genetics
  • Topic4. Ecology
  • Topic5. Evolution and biodiversity
  • Topic6. Human physiology

Additional Higher Level Material

  • Topic7. Nucleic acids
  • Topic8. Metabolism, cell respiration and photosynthesis
  • Topic9. Plant biology
  • Topic10. Genetics and evolution
  • Topic11. Animal physiology

Additionally one of the following Options will be covered:

  • A. Neurobiology and behavior
  • B. Biotechnology and bioinformatics
  • C. Ecology and conservation
  • D. Human physiology

Chemistry HL and SL

Chemistry is an experimental science that combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigational skills. It is often called the central science, as chemical principles underpin both the physical environment in which we live and all biological systems. Apart from being a subject worthy of study in its own right, chemistry is a prerequisite for many other courses in higher education, such as medicine, biological science and environmental science, and serves as useful preparation for employment.

The Diploma Programme chemistry course allows students to develop traditional practical skills and techniques and to increase facility in the use of mathematics, which is the language of science. It also allows students to develop interpersonal skills, and digital technology skills, which are essential in 21st century scientific endeavor and are important life-enhancing, transferable skills in their own right.

SYLLABUS OUTLINE

  • Topic 1: Stoichiometric relationships
  • Topic 2: Atomic structure
  • Topic 3: Periodicity
  • Topic 4: Chemical Bonding and structure
  • Topic 5: Energetic / Thermochemistry
  • Topic 6: Chemical Kinetics
  • Topic 7: Equilibrium
  • Topic 8: Acids and bases
  • Topic 9: Redox processes
  • Topic 10: Organic chemistry
  • Topic 11: Measurement and data processing

Options

  • Option A. Materials
  • Option B. Biochemistry
  • Option C. Energy
  • Option D. Medicinal chemistry

Physics HL and SL

Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences as it seeks to explain the universe itself, from the very smallest particles to the vast distances between galaxies (1024 m). Both theory and experiments are undertaken by all students to allow them to develop traditional practical skills and techniques and also increase facility in the use of mathematics, which is the language of physics. The course also allows students to develop interpersonal skills, and information and communication technology skills which are essential in modern scientific endeavour.

You should not choose Mathematical Studies if you want to study IB physics. (Mathematics SL is enough for both physics HL & SL.)
Distinction between SL and HL

Group 4 students at standard level (SL) and higher level (HL) undertake a common core syllabus, a common internal assessment (IA) scheme and have some overlapping elements in the option studied. They are presented with a syllabus that encourages the development of certain skills, attributes and attitudes.

While the skills and activities of group 4 science subjects are common to students at both SL and HL, students at HL are required to study some topics in greater depth, in the additional higher level (AHL) material and in the common options. The distinction between SL and HL is one of breadth and depth.

SYLLABUS OUTLINE

Core

  1. Measurements and uncertainties
  2. Mechanics
  3. Thermal physics
  4. Waves
  5. Electricity and magnetism
  6. Circular motion and gravitation
  7. Atomic, nuclear and particle physics
  8. Energy production
    Additional higher level (AHL)
  9. Wave phenomena
  10. Fields
  11. Electromagnetic induction
  12. Quantum and nuclear physics

Group 4 students are requested to study one topic from the listed below options

Option

  • A. Relativity
  • B. Engineering physics
  • C. Imaging
  • D. Astrophysics

Group 5: Mathematics

Mathematics HL, Mathematics SL or Mathematical Studies (SL)

All Diploma candidates are required to complete a mathematics course. Choices are available to cater for differing degrees of ability and student interest. Each course aims to develop a student’s understanding of mathematics as a discipline and to promote confidence and facility in the use of mathematical language.

Mathematics HL/SL

The higher level course caters to students with a good background in mathematics who are competent in a range of analytical and technical skills. The majority of the students taking this course will be expecting to include mathematics as a major component of their university studies, either as a subject in its own right or within courses such as Physics, Engineering and Technology. Others may take this subject because they have a strong interest in mathematics and enjoy meeting its challenges and engaging with its problems. The standard level course is a course aimed at students with a scientific bias to their curriculum.

In general, IB Maths helps the students to develop a variety of skills which include understanding, using and interpreting mathematical terminology and notation, solving various mathematical problems using appropriate strategies and methods, to present data in many forms and finally, to demonstrate understanding and use of mathematical practical applications and modelling.

SYLLABUS OUTLINE

The SL and HL(in more details) students study a common Core of material in which the following topics are covered:

  • Topic 1 – Algebra
  • Topic 2 – Functions and Equations
  • Topic 3 – Circular Functions and Trigonometry
  • Topic 4 – Vectors
  • Topic 6 – Statistics and Probability
  • Topic 7 – Calculus

At higher level one of the following topics will be studied:

  • Topic 8 – Statistics and probability Topic 9 – Sets, relations and groups
  • Topic 10- Series and differential equations Topic 11 – Discrete mathematics.

Mathematical Studies (SL)

Mathematical Studies SL caters for students with varied backgrounds and abilities. It is designed to build confidence and encourage an appreciation of mathematics in students who do not anticipate a need for mathematics in their future studies. Students embarking on this course need to be equipped with fundamental skills and a rudimentary knowledge of basic processes.

SYLLABUS OUTLINE

All topics are compulsory. Students must study all the sub-topics in each of the topics in the
syllabus. Students are also required to be familiar with the topics listed as prior learning.

  • Topic 1 : Number and algebra
  • Topic 2: Descriptive statistics
  • Topic 3: Logic, sets and probability
  • Topic 4: Statistical applications
  • Topic 5: Geometry and trigonometry
  • Topic 6: Mathematical models
  • Topic 7: Introduction to differential calculus

Project

The project is an individual piece of work involving the collection of information or
the generation of measurements, and the analysis and evaluation of the information or
measurements

IB Visual Arts SL/HL Year 1

Course Description:

The IB Diploma Programme visual arts course encourages students to challenge their own creative and cultural expectations and boundaries. It is a thought-provoking course in which students develop analytical skills in problem-solving and divergent thinking, while working towards technical proficiency and confidence as art-makers. In addition to exploring and comparing visual arts from different perspectives and in different contexts, students are expected to engage in, experiment with and critically reflect upon a wide range of contemporary practices and media. The course is designed for students who want to go on to study visual arts in higher education as well as for those who are seeking lifelong enrichment through visual arts.

Content of Course/Outcomes:

Studying the IB Visual Arts course allows students to develop a critical and intensely personal view of themselves in relation to the world. The visual arts coursework is explored in three areas of practice:

1. Theoretical

Students examine and compare the work of artists from different cultural contexts. They investigate and compare how and why different techniques and processes have evolved. In addition, they learn about how to most effectively communicate knowledge and understanding.

2- Art Making

Students make art through a process of investigation, thinking critically and experimenting with techniques and media in several areas. They develop concepts through processes that are informed by skills, techniques and media. By the end of the course students will have produced a body of artwork through a process of reflection and evaluation, showing a synthesis of skill, media and concept.

3- Curatorial Practice

Students consider the nature of “exhibition” and think about the process of selection and the potential impact of their work on different audiences. In the spring of Year 2 of the course, students select and present resolved works for exhibition.

Assessment

At the end of the two years, the IB-assessed components for the Visual Arts Course are as follows:

  1. Comparative study: Students analyse and compare different artworks by different artists. This independent critical and contextual investigation explores artworks, objects and artifacts from differing cultural contexts. Externally assessed (20%)
  2. Process portfolio: Students submit carefully selected materials which evidence their experimentation, exploration, manipulation and refinement of a variety of visual arts activities during the two-year course. Externally assessed (40%)
  3. Exhibition: Students submit for assessment a selection of resolved artworks from their exhibition. The selected pieces should show evidence of their technical accomplish-ment during the visual arts course and an understanding of the use of materials, ideas and practices appropriate to visual communication. Internally assessed (40%)

The quarter grades for ALS are based on the following percentages:

  • Comparative Study Assignment (1 per quarter) – 20%
  • Process Portfolio Assignments (1 per quarter) – 40%
  • Studio/Exhibition Work (1 per quarter) – 35%
  • Class Work/Participation (1 per quarter) – 5%

IB Visual Arts SL/HL Year 2

The IB Visual Arts course provides students with opportunities to explore art on a number of levels. The course is not just about “making things” rather it is a journey that is described in the following way in the IB subject guide:

Artistic learning requires a high level of cognition that is both intellectual and emotional. For students to communicate visually they must place themselves within a cultural context, or contexts, from which to discover and develop appropriate techniques. Through the visual arts, people acquire understandings which are unique in human development. Study of the visual arts allows students to discover ways in which to interpret and comment critically on the human condition.”

Studying the IB Visual Arts course allows students to develop a critical and intensely personal view of themselves in relation to the world. The primary coursework consists of two important parts:

Studio Work

Student artwork should demonstrate an inquiring and interactive approach in the creating of works that are personally, culturally, and aesthetically meaningful. Studio work offers the student a chance to explore a range of media and exhibit your technical skills.

5. Investigation Workbook (IW)

The IW includes the visual and written record of the research and development of the ideas the student pursues in the studio work. This is the student’s opportunity to demonstrate his/her understanding of the topics investigated and to analyze their work and that of others using an informed vocabulary.

The IB external assessment, as well as the ALS final assessment, requires students to submit a portfolio which includes the items listed below.

  1. Examples of Studio Work – Studio work is assessed from photos. The teacher and student will work together to photograph the student’s work to its greatest advantage. For SL students 8-12 photos are required and for HL students 12 – 18 are required.
  2. Sample Pages from the Investigation Workbook – Students will scan selected pages from their Investigation Workbook into a single document. For SL students, 15 – 20 pages are required and for HL 25 – 30 pages are required
  3. Candidate statement – The candidate statement is a 300-word maximum description of the student’s artistic growth and development over the course
  4. Recorded candidate interview or 1000-word written discussion statement – The teacher will record the student discussing his/her work in either an audio or video format. The interview is not formally assessed but it is important. It provides the student the opportunity to give further insight and information about the work for the examiner’s benefit. In the alternative students may choose to submit a 1000-word written discussion of their work.

The quarter grades for ALS are based on the following percentages:

  • Studio Work – 55%
  • Investigation Workbook – 40%
  • Participation/Effort – 5%

All three parts of the core—extended essay, theory of knowledge and creativity, action, service—are compulsory and are central to the philosophy of the Diploma Programme:

An independent, in-depth research project resulting in an Extended Essay of 4000 words. ALS students begin this project in the spring of grade 11, work over the summer, and turn in their final paper by the winter of grade 12.

The extended essay is an independent, self-directed piece of research, culminating in a 4,000-word paper. As a required component, it provides:

  • practical preparation for the kinds of undergraduate research required at tertiary level;
  • an opportunity for students to engage in an in-depth study of a topic of interest within a chosen subject

Emphasis is placed on the research process:

  • formulating an appropriate research question;
  • engaging in a personal exploration of the topic;
  • communicating ideas;
  • developing an argument.

Participation in this process develops the capacity to:

  • analyze;
  • synthesize;
  • evaluate knowledge

Students are supported throughout the process with advice and guidance from a supervisor (usually a teacher at the school).

Extended Essay Guide Extended Essay PPT
A Theory of Knowledge course and paper, which addresses the questions: What do we know and how do we know?

Theory of Knowledge

Course Description & Expectations

TOK plays a special role in the Diploma Programme by providing an opportunity for students to reflect on the nature of knowledge. The task of TOK is to emphasize connections between areas of knowledge and link them to the knower in such a way that the knower can become aware of his or her own perspectives and those of the various groups whose knowledge he or she shares. TOK, therefore, explores both the personal and shared aspects of knowledge and investigates the relationships between them.

The raw material of TOK is knowledge itself. Students think about how knowledge is arrived at in the various disciplines, what the disciplines have in common and the differences between them. The fundamental question of TOK is “how do we know that?” The answer might depend on the discipline and the purpose to which the knowledge is put. TOK explores methods of inquiry and tries to establish what it is about these methods that makes hem effective as knowledge tools. In this sense TOK is concerned with knowing about knowing.

The individual knower has to try to make sense of the world and understand his or her relationship to it. He or she has at his or her disposal the resources of the areas of knowledge, for example, the subject disciplines studied in the Diploma Programme. He or she also has access to ways of knowing such as memory, intuition, reason and sense perception that help us navigate our way in a complex world.

Course Outline (General)

The following are the topics that will be covered throughout two years
(Textbook: Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press )

Year One

What is knowledge? How do we know? (WoK & AoK)

  1. Perception
  2. Emotion
  3. Reason
  4. Language
  5. Intuition, Faith, Memory, Imagination

Year Two

  1. Review of WoK & AoK
  2. Presentation of Social Issue
  3. Prescribed Essay determined by IB
TOK Guide

Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)

The CAS requirement is a fundamental part of the programme and takes seriously the importance of life outside the world of scholarship, providing a refreshing counterbalance to academic studies.

Creativity is interpreted broadly to include a wide range of arts activities as well as the creativity students demonstrate in designing and implementing service projects. Action can include not only participation in individual and team sports but also taking part in expeditions and in local or international projects. Service encompasses a host of community and social service activities. Some examples include helping children with special needs, visiting hospitals and working with refugees or homeless people.

Students are expected to be involved in CAS activities for the equivalent of at least three hours each week during the two years of the programme.

Each school appoints a CAS supervisor who is responsible for providing a varied choice of activities for students. Programmes are monitored by IB regional offices.

A system of self-evaluation encourages students to reflect on the benefits of CAS participation to themselves and to others and to evaluate the understanding and insights acquired.

CAS Guide

For more information on the IB diploma programme and subjects offered by ALS please refer to this document:

IB diploma programme handbook.
 

University recognition

The IB diploma is a passport to higher education. Universities around the world welcome the unique characteristics of IB Diploma Programme students and recognize the way in which the programme helps to prepare students for university-level education.
IB students routinely gain admission to some of the best-known universities in the world. Most of these institutions have established recognition policies for the IB diploma.

Useful website: http://ibo.org/diploma/recognition/directory/