Migration or Refugees ? & WoKs

The following lesson is for a DP1/G11/Y12 class in the early stages of a ToK Course. The lesson has 3 main functions:

  1. Allows students to explore & apply WoKs to a real life situation.
  2. Starts to explain how you develop KQ’s from RLS
  3. Allows students to practice ToK Presentation Skills.

The content of the lesson is topical in September 2015. This content could be replaced in the future by whatever happens to be topical at the time that you look at this lesson.


  1. Students work in groups of 4. Ideally you will have equal numbers of groups.
  2. Ask the students to brainstorm arguments for & against “migrants” being allowed into Europe – brainstorm onto sugar paper. (you could show them this introduction)
  3. Ask students to categorise their  brainstormed knowledge (claims) according to the WoKs.
  4. Give each group a WoK. Ask them to prepare a presentation on the title:

The current European Migrant crisis is best understood by using [their WoK] as a way of knowing, because we believe that migrants should / should not be allowed into Europe.

This presentation could have the following components:

  • Evidence drawn from media
  • Consideration of who is the knower.
  • Evaluation of alternative Ways of Knowing.
  • Links to Areas of Knowledge.

5. After each group gives their presentation ask them to develop personal KQ’s based upon the presentations that they have seen. Take some time at this stage as G11 students may not yet have come across KQ’s (you may have to explain what a KQ is to them) – You could use this presentation.

6.  End of lesson reflections:

  • Is emotion, reason or faith a stronger way of knowing personally in relation to refugees ?
  • How could the migration crisis be understood in terms of absolutist vs consequentialist ethics ?
  • How could we understand the shift in public opinion after the publication of the photo of Aylan Kurdi in terms of shared and personal knowledge ?