Essay by sah23High School, 12th gradeA+, November 2014

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TOK - How I changed

Last semester I walked into my first TOK class with many preconceived notions, mainly stemming from my talks with students from the Class of 2014. I had heard many things such as, "TOK is a study hall; TOK is a fake philosophy class; TOK is just a bunch of bs" and other statements along those lines. These preconceived notions obstructed me from discovering what TOK actually was and how various aspects of TOK play into my daily life and the subjects I am currently studying. I did not participate as much in my junior year and took a very passive attitude towards the class. This was not only due to my previous thoughts about the class, but also because I found the class to be very obscure. I had never been in a situation where my thought process would be challenged as well as basic (or what I believed to be basic) definitions of knowledge, language, culture, tradition, and other topics would be questioned.

I did not want to participate for a couple of reasons. I was somewhat afraid to express my perspective on the topics discussed in class. I felt as if my opinion would not be accepted or possibly shut down. The other reason is that sometime I simply had trouble processing the question and answering it within my own head. How could you define something that was so abstract, intangible, but is used in our everyday lives? These situations repeated throughout my junior year and now reflecting on the year, I can see my development within my TOK class. As TOK went on, I began to doubt the claims made by the students from the Class of 2014 and found my thinking being challenged more in TOK than other classes such as...