All aspects of your identity and individual approach to processing your experience, or “ways of knowing,” give you valuable insight and enable your curiosity.

Your lived experience provides a wealth of knowledge that forms the foundation of your understanding and can take many forms. Your identity gives you a lens on your context that can reveal new ways of seeing old ideas and new possibilities.

Your Ways of Knowing

Graphic of two concentric circles labeled “Areas of Knowledge” and “Ways of Knowing” with components of each distributed around the circles.  The word “You” is in the center of the circles.  Components of “Areas of Knowledge” are history, indigenous knowledge, arts, natural science, human science, religion, mathematics and ethics.  Components of “Ways of Knowing” are language, emotion, memory, reason, intuition, sense perception, imagination, and faith.

Adapted from TOK Journal Diagram "Areas of Knowledge"

How might components of your identity work with your ways of knowing to provide a new perspective on an established idea or point to an unexplored idea?

Graphic of magnifying glass with several components of identity around the edge (race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, gender identity, language(s), economic status, and nationality) focused on the words “your context.”

Open Questions

By engaging your open questions in conversation with mentors, you can clarify your values and develop your identity—which might still feel like an open question. Your curiosity is a powerful tool that is unique to you because it’s an expression of your individual identity with all its' intersections, providing you a singular lens to examine your context (and a way for others to see new possibilities). 

For background on "intersectionality," refer to the work of Kimberlé Crenshaw, who introduced the term in legal theory to address the marginalization of black women (1989).