Learning@ISB


Theory of Knowledge

Theory of Knowledge (ToK) is a one year seminar course in which students are asked to reflect upon their experiences in a comparative and critical way. It examines the origins and validity of various forms of knowledge. Students are challenged to compare and contrast their diverse attitudes and perceptions. With this focus on inquiry, there may not be right or wrong answers, but there are standards for judgment and defenses of knowledge claims. Aims and Objectives of ToK:

  • Develop a critical capacity and understand the importance of evaluating knowledge claims
  • Be aware of subjective and ideological biases
  • Develop a concern for rigor in formulating knowledge claims, and intellectual honesty
  • Make connections between personal experience and Ways of Knowing and Areas of Knowledge through linking questions
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the influence that personal views, judgments and beliefs have on own knowledge
  • Use oral and written language to communicate ideas clearly and appropriately
  • Demonstrate an understanding of knowledge at work in the world

Note: ToK will be assessed as a Pass/Fail in the first semester of the course and graded in the second semester.

IBO Theory of Knowledge Subject Guide


Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)

Education neither begins nor ends in a classroom or exam room. Essential aspects of education exist outside of both. In recognition of this, IB Diploma students must meet key outcomes (during the 2 year program) participating in activities at ISB and in the community. CAS is the acronym for Creativity, Action, Service. The CAS requirement is designed to be an enjoyable, yet challenging, component of a student’s education. All three activity elements should be represented.

  • Creativity – covers the range of art, craft, debate, forensics, drama, music, choir, film-making, photography and/or the application of creativity in designing and carrying out service projects.
  • Action – includes participation in individual and team sports, physical training or expeditions. It may include the carrying out of creative and service projects.
  • Service – includes a range of community or social service activities. Volunteer work helping the less fortunate or involvement in environmental projects are ideal service activities.

As a result of their CAS experience as a whole, including their reflections, there should be evidence that students have:

  • Increased their awareness of their own strengths and areas for growth
  • Undertaken new challenges
  • Planned and initiated activities
  • Worked collaboratively with others
  • Shown perseverence and commitment to activities
  • Engages with issues of global importance
  • Considered the ethical implications of their actions
  • Developed new skills

IBO Creativity Action Service Guide

Documenting CAS Activities

Students use Managebac to document their CAS activities and to reflect on their experiences using the 8 outcomes as guiding questions.


Extended Essay

The Extended Essay (EE) is another core component of the IB Diploma. It is an in-depth study of a limited topic within a subject, essentially, a piece of academic writing. The essay provides an opportunity to engage in independent research in a topic of interest to the student. Emphasis is placed on the communication of ideas and information in a logical and coherent manner, and on overall presentation of the Essay.

Students should choose a topic in which they have a personal interest and that initial background research has proved there are sufficient sources to support the study as a whole. They will frame a thesis or research question which they will investigate and refine the question with the aid of an extended essay supervisor before embarking on the research, data collection, and writing of the 4000 word paper. Students should meet regularly with their Supervisor for guidance and feedback. The Extended Essay process begins in the Junior year. Extended Essays are completed in the first semester of the Senior year and formally graded by an external examiner.