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TOK / CAS / Extended Essay
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International BaccalaureateContact: Chuck Chamberlain
phone: (503) 399-3252
Theory of Knowledge(TOK)
Theory of Knowledge is a one year course taught in both the 11th and 12th grade. The TOK class provides coherence to the IB Diploma Program. Throughout TOK, students examine the philosophical framework of each academic discipline while learning to reflect critically and logically on ideas originating in their other IB courses. It teaches students analytical thinking skills and forces them to examine their ideas and values. It encourages contemplation of the strengths and limitations of different way of thinking and is appreciative of various cultural traditions.
Creativity, Activity, Service is known by its acronym CAS and is a fundamental part o the Diploma Program. The IB goal of educating the whole person and fostering a more compassionate and active citizenry comes alive in an immediate way when students reach beyond themselves and their classes. Each diploma candidate must complete 150 CAS hours during the last two years of high school (approximately 3-4 hours a week). Creativity is interpreted broadly to include a wide range of arts 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, including helping children with special needs, visiting hospitals, and working with refugees, or homeless people. The activities may be rendered individually or in groups. The CAS Coordinator will provide a menu of activities for all Diploma candidates, however, students are encouraged to establish their own CAS plan and community connections. The candidate must submit plans for these important projects to the CAS Coordinator for approval prior to undertaking them. A journal will be kept by each candidate to document their activities and to reflect on the benefits of CAS participation to themselves and to others, and to evaluate the understanding and insights acquired.
The Extended Essay
IB Diploma candidates are required to undertake original research and write an extended essay. The extended essay (approximately 4000 words or 10-12 pages) is defined as an in-depth study of a limited topic chosen from one of the six subject groups of the IB curriculum. It offers the opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest and to become acquainted with the kind of independent research and writing skills expected at the university level. Diploma candidates will be supervised by a faculty member who can provide academic guidance for the subject in which the extended essay is registered and will ensure that the essay is the candidate's own work. The faculty supervisor will also furnish help with time management, and the overall structure and presentation of the paper. In the second semester of the junior year, each student will decide on a topic and seek the sponsorship of a faculty member. Students will be expected to begin working on the essay during their junior year, as well as over the course of the summer between their junior and senior years. The extended essay will be submitted near the end of the first semester of the senior year.