The TOK presentation is every IB student’s worst nightmare. Speaking for an extended period of time about ‘AoKs’ and ‘WoKs’ just isn’t ok. But fear not, some of Lanterna’s elite IB graduates have noted down 20 TOK Presentation Ideas that worked for them! Take a look at these previously successful combinations to help spark your own genius knowledge questions or figure out a great real life situation! Keep in mind that for a good topic and knowledge question you should choose a specific real-life situation but then ask a knowledge question that can be applicable to multiple other real life situations.
NOTE: These topics are purely meant as inspiration and are not to be chosen blindly. Even though many of these topics led to high scores for some of our graduates in the past, it is important that you listen to the advice of your TOK teacher before choosing any TOK Presentation topic, as the presentation is internally assessed! Check out our TOK survival guide to read more about how your score is processed!
1. The Influence of Power on How We Treat Others
Knowledge Question: To what extent does social hierarchy and power affect social relations?
Real Life Situation: Bullying is prevalent in all social scenarios, no matter the age of the participants and has lasting impacts on the recipients
2. Changing Views on Gender and Sexuality
Knowledge Question: To what extent does shared knowledge impact an individual’s response to ethical questions?
Real Life Situation: In recent years the attitude towards gender and sexual diversity is changing at the fastest ever rate.
3. The Ethics and Morality of Designer Babies
Knowledge Question: To what extent should ethical considerations be taken into account when making scientific progress?
Real Life Situation: Healthy babies have been born to provide stem cells for siblings with ‘serious non-heritable conditions’.
4. Child Labour in India
Knowledge Question: Can the pursuit of human rights be partially relinquished to promote economic growth?
Real Life Situation: Child labour is legal in India in order to boost economic prosperity and to not punish large families.
5. Conspiracy Theories: Malaysian Airlines
Knowledge Question: How much information must be gathered to be able to establish a credible theory?
Real Life Situation: The truth behind the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 has still not come to light and, despite little to no evidence, the media is quick to create theories.
6. The Validity of Religion as a Way of Knowing
Knowledge Question: Does religion as a way of knowing carry less credibility than, for example, science as a way of knowing?
Real Life Situation: The conflict between conservative religious camps and active scientists still exists today – is this justified?
7. Societal Expectations on Love
Knowledge Question: How does shared knowledge affect an individual’s knowledge and choice with regards to love?
Real Life Situation: Polygamy, in the US, is trending upwards in popularity and acceptance.
8. Is Greed Good?
Knowledge Question: Can our individual knowledge benefit from an increased amount of selfishness or greed?
Real Life Situation: Carl Icahn, the inspiration behind the 1987 movie “Wall Street” argued greed is important in economics – is this still true today?
9. Induction and Generalizations
Knowledge Question: How much is our personal knowledge, actions, and choices based on generalizations and acceptance of shared knowledge?
Real Life Situation: Racial profiling is still active and rampant in airports – why is this and what are the underlying causes?
10. Should Drugs Be Legalised?
Knowledge Question: How can reason be used to justify the ethicality of choices or other perspectives?
Real Life Situation: Portugal decriminalized many drugs in 2001 to positive effect – can the same be done worldwide with similar results?
11. Predicting the Ebola Outbreak
Knowledge Question: Can we trust Maths more than other areas of knowledge?
Real Life Situation: The use of mathematical models to anticipate and track disease functions
12. Causing Offence
Knowledge Question: How do we define our moral code?
Real Life Situation: A report that UK TV viewers get more irked by low-cut dresses than racist soaps
13. Tourism and Indigenous Tribes
Knowledge Question: Are certain indigenous knowledge systems incompatible with monetary systems?
Real Life Situation: Tribal tourism being accused of exploiting indigenous people
14. The Similarities Between Sex Workers and Athletes
Knowledge Question: To what extent ethical norms formed by shared knowledge affect our perception of individuals and their livelihoods?
Real Life Situation: A comparison of the similarities between an athlete and sex worker
15. The Case of the Bali 9
Knowledge Question: How do religious and indigenous knowledge systems affect the application of justice
Real Life Situation: The case of the ‘Bali 9’ is controversial because Australians, who in their home country would never be exposed to a death penalty, were sentenced to death in Indonesia for drug trafficking
16. Illegal Organ Trade
Knowledge Question: To what extent can ‘money talk’ in outweighing morality?
Real Life Situation: The rise in sales of bodily parts
17. Do Names Shape Attitudes?
Knowledge Question: Does language shape our perception of others?
Real Life Situation: Research exists that a name can influence how a child performs in school and even their career opportunities
18. The Future of Meat-Eating
Knowledge Question: To what extent do the development of new technologies affect the shared beliefs of a society?
Real Life Situation: The development of artificial meat and its connection to vegetarianism.
19. The Cost of Religion
Knowledge Question: Do religious knowledge systems influence economic outcomes?
Real Life Situation: Economic analysis has found that non-religious countries experience greater economic growth
20. Punishment by Birth
Knowledge Question: To what extent do our religious or personal beliefs affect our perception of people?
Real Life Situation: The decision that children of ISIS members would not be allowed to return to the UK
So there you have it, 20 top ideas to get your TOK brain whirring and TOK presentation started! If you need anymore more support regarding Theory of Knowledge, check out some of our other blog posts on it! And as always, if you’re struggling with any IB subject check out our online private tuition service!