/On Managing TOK

On Managing TOK

With the closure of the finalized objects and prompts for the DP1 students, another significant milestone in the diploma program has been completed, leading us to start working on our TOK commentaries for the upcoming exhibition. I’m one of the students in Mr. Philip Mathew’s Band 4 TOK class, and I can say this process of finalizing the objects and prompt was indeed challenging but doable.

I began thinking about my objects and prompt during Diwali Break; thus, it gave me a lot of time to dabble around, reflect, critically think, and analyse the 35 prompts. What I found incredibly helpful was making notes on what ideas I had for the prompts I was interested in and decoding each word to understand its core components. It was also beneficial to connect the prompt to a theme because then I established a focal point on what possible objects could fit into the theme. I started to then think of some arguments and contradictions in the prompt through looking at different perspectives via the TOK concepts. This helped develop some arguments where I could then pick out objects that express those arguments with a real-life context.

However, one of the biggest things I learned was that you must connect to your mentor whenever possible, discuss your arguments and express your views on how your objects adequately connect to both the theme and the prompt. This is because some arguments and points that may make sense to you may not make sense to others; hence it requires you to analyse and critically think, to not only further develop your points but also change the way you communicate them.

Connecting with my mentor also helped me think more abstractly, thus helping me look at different angles and develop my understanding of the prompt. I faced many challenges, scrapping points after points and changing my objects over the months; however, I’m glad to say that starting early gave me the time and ability to think much more profoundly and be sure of the outcome of the efforts.

I was also advised to write a sample draft for one of the objects to help practice communicating my thoughts and the object’s relevance and correlation to the theme and prompt, also helping me to understand the writing of the commentary better. Thus, my biggest tip in choosing objects and prompts would be to start as early as possible, give it time, and connect to your mentors. It not only helped me create well-thought and unique objects that manifest TOK through the prompt but also reduce stress through finishing it and closing it by the deadline.  

Riya Sabherwal, DP1C