Theory of Knowledge asks students to step back from the relentless acquisition of knowledge in order to reflect on what and how they gain knowledge in a variety of situations and contexts. Core goals of the course are for students to have awareness of different perspectives, including one’s own, and the disciplinary, ideological, and personal assumptions that underlay human knowledge to think critically by analyzing causes and limitations of knowledge, and to develop a flexible framework for approaching complex situations and taking responsibility for constructing a personal response to different knowledge issues.

Theory of Knowledge develops students’ intellectual maturity in a number of different ways. First, students gain a template for the way in which academic subjects are formed, enabling them to more quickly grasp a subject when they arrive at college or university. Second, students learn to ask questions about topics, developing their ability to gain a deeper understanding of any subject. Finally, students gain the intellectual stamina to work through the ambiguous, complex nature of any subject or large issue.