An exploratory study of a student-centered course in International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (İBDP) schools : how is theory of knowledge (TOK) implemented to support intercultural sensitivity?
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This study investigated the factors that affect students’ intercultural sensitivity scores and their self-rated Theory of Knowledge (TOK) aims along with their perspectives on the implementation of TOK. The participants were 305 International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) year 1 students from six different schools in Turkey, one in Sweden and one in Lebanon. A questionnaire was used to collect data and was composed of four sections: open-ended and multiple-choice questions to collect demographic information; a Likert item scale to gather information about participant school culture and international mindedness; another Likert item scale about TOK classrooms; and Intercultural Sensitivity Scale. Both qualitative and quantitative analysis were done in order to explore students’ perspectives on their school culture, implementation of TOK course, their self-rated intercultural sensitivity scores and TOK outcomes. The qualitative analysis contributed to the exploration of the participant school cultures and differences between the participant students. In addition, quantitative analysis, a one-way ANOVA and independent samples t test, helped to explore students’ self-rated IS scores and TOK aims. The findings indicated that there is a statistically significant difference between students’ self-rated IS scores and their perceptions on TOK aims achieved. The results showed that students with higher IS scores have more positive attitudes about implementation of TOK course as they have higher self-rated TOK aims. According to the findings, international experience and school type influence students’ IS scores. Even though it was assumed that students in international schools would have higher self-rated IS, it was discovered that students in national schools have relatively higher IS scores. However, in terms of students’ self-rated TOK aims, it was revealed that students’ international experience and the school type do not influence their self-rated TOK outcomes. The study contributes to the existing literature by having studied IS level differences between students who have more international travel experience and those who have less international travel experience and students from schools with mostly national peers and those who have more international peers. It also contributes to TOK literature by exploring factors such as IS scores, international travel experience and school type, which may affect students’ self-rated TOK aims.
KeywordsTheory of Knowledge
Intercultural Communication Competence