TOK encourages critical thinking and inquiry into the process of knowing rather than about learning a specific body of knowledge. It is a core element which all Diploma Programme students undertake and to which all schools are required to devote class time. TOK supports the Diploma Programme subjects through examining how we know what we claim to know, encouraging students to analyse knowledge claims and explore knowledge questions.

While there are arguably many ways of knowing, the TOK course identifies eight specific ways of knowing (WoKs): language, sense perception, emotion, reason, imagination, faith, intuition and memory.

Areas of knowledge are specific branches of knowledge, each of which can be seen to have a distinct nature and different methods of gaining knowledge. TOK distinguishes between eight areas of knowledge: mathematics, natural sciences, human sciences, the arts, history, ethics, religious knowledge systems and indigenous knowledge systems.

Source: IB TOK Guide 2015