ISJ Internation Schools Journal Envisioning the K-Graduate Education Paradigm
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ISJ Spring 2021: Thinking Locally – Taking Theory of Knowledge outside the Classroom – Part 3 of a series on teaching TOK / Bill Roberts


The maxim or quote ‘Think Globally, Act Locally’, or ‘Thinking Globally, Acting Locally’ is a phrase that has been around for some time. Trying to find the exact provenance of the quote is less easy with a number of different people making a claim for having been the source of it or the motivation behind it. However, what is more certain is that it has been taken on board as a phrase to use when considering environmental issues and by the IB where it is often applied to the Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) programme. As Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is not a programme that often exists outside the classroom, this is not an idea where there appears to be an instant connection. However, in this paper I would like to suggest that there are a number of good reasons for taking a more active approach to TOK, taking it out of the formal classroom and exploring the idea of “Think Globally, but Remember the Power of Thinking Locally.” I have deliberately phrased the ‘local’ part using the present/active participle as it is important that this is not a reflective activity, but one where students are actively experiencing and seeing local situations.