DP Core Requirements

Theory of Knowledge

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is a course comprised of 100 hours over three semesters. The course aims to examine critically the types, nature and limitations of different ways of knowing and different areas of knowledge. In the process, students consider the role of language, reason, emotion and perception in the pursuit of certainty and truth. In addition, students compare systems of knowledge and explore the assumptions and value judgments inherent within them.

Students are encouraged to explore TOK within the context of their own learning and lives and to consider the impact of cultural differences on knowledge issues. Texts and examples come from a wide range of cultural perspectives and knowledge areas, including the physical and social sciences, mathematics, the arts, politics, religion and ethics.

Students are assessed by means of a written assignment and an oral presentation. Up to three bonus points can be awarded on the basis of this written work in combination with the extended essay.

Extended Essay

The IB defines the extended essay as “an in-depth study of a limited topic within a subject.” The 4,000-word essay is meant to provide students with the opportunity to conduct independent research at an introductory level. In general, the skills required to produce a successful essay are those the student has been using in the relevant course.

Students should choose to work in an area they find interesting. For example, a student who chooses history must be interested in working with primary sources. Those selecting a science topic are strongly advised to undertake experimentally based investigations rather than library-based surveys. In Language A, students should be interested in the independent critical analysis of literary works. Under most circumstances, students are encouraged to confine their choices to the subjects they are studying.

When students have chosen the subject area of the extended essay, they begin to discuss their proposed topic with their supervisor. They must submit a detailed plan, including a specific research question for discussion. As an independent piece of research, it is critical that students takes a self-disciplined approach and adhere to deadlines. The extended essay is submitted during October seminar week in grade 12.

Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)

CAS is a fundamental part of the IB Diploma Program at YIS. Along with TOK and the extended essay, CAS is one of the three core elements in every student’s IBDP experience. 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 two to three hours each week during the two years of the program.