What is it?
The TOK Exhibition is an internally evaluated (but IB moderated) assessment which accounts for 33% of your final TOK grade. For this assessment you must choose three different objects which you will relate to one of 35 prompts.You will be marked on a 950-word written commentary detailing why you chose each respective object and explaining how it connects with the knowledge question you have chosen. In addition to this, you will need to present your TOK exhibition. The exact format of this presentation will be decided by your school, but it may be done virtually or as a mini event hosted for younger students.
The assessment requires you to do three things. The first is to provide the real-world context for each object, i.e., what it is and what personal significance it holds for you.
“This is the guidebook I used when I went on holiday to Cambodia with my family when I was 12 years old. It detailed some of the key places to visit in the country as well as information on local customs and culture.”
Secondly, you need to link the object to the prompt. What connection can you make between the real-world object and the knowledge question you have chosen?
“Whilst reading this book, I felt I was beginning to gain a basic understanding of the country and its people before I had even visited the place. Reflecting upon this experience years later has led me to ask: ‘Does some knowledge belong only to particular communities of knowers?’
Finally, you need to justify why you consider the chosen object to be a good example to illustrate the knowledge issue.
“I feel that this guidebook is an ideal object with which to address this question as provides a perspective on the extent to which we can acquire valuable knowledge of a particular culture or community without actually being a member of it ourselves.’
Given these requirements, it is advisable that your exhibition follows the three-part structure shown above for each object. As you have a 950-word limit for the commentary, you should dedicate approximately 300 words to each object. You do not need an introduction, though you can write a very brief one introducing the knowledge question/objects if you so wish.
Other important points to remember:
The objects you choose need to be specific, i.e. your Lonely Planet Guide to Cambodia, not just a generic guidebook. If an object you choose is a personal item, or something you have direct access to, take a picture of it yourself, do not just take a stock photo from the internet. If you choose something which does not belong to you, for example an historical photograph, ensure that you cite the source appropriately.
You ideally want to approach the prompt from a different angle with each object to avoid being repetitive.
Finally, you do not need to explain the link between each of your objects (though you may do so if you wish), nor do you need to address any other TOK related themes such as the AOK’s.
I hope you find the above tips useful. Nevertheless, if you feel you need some assistance in preparing your TOK Exhibition, feel free to get in touch with me for an online tutoring session.