Welcome to the wild and exciting world of Real Life Situations (RLS) in IB Theory of Knowledge (TOK)! Just when you thought learning about the nature of knowledge couldn’t get any more thrilling, we throw in real-world examples to make your brain tingle with excitement.
But seriously, RLS play an important role in the TOK class as they provide students with a concrete context in which to understand and apply the abstract concepts they are learning. In addition, by examining real-world events and experiences, students are able to see the complexity and nuance of knowledge and how it is used in different fields and disciplines.
What is TOK RLS?
A “Real Life Situation” (RLS) in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course refers to a specific event, experience, or scenario that connects to the main themes and ideas being discussed in the class.
The purpose of using RLS in TOK is to help students understand how the concepts they are learning about in class apply to real-world situations, and to encourage critical thinking and analysis.
The importance of RLS in TOK is that they provide students with a concrete context in which to understand and apply the abstract concepts they are learning. Additionally, by examining real-world events and experiences, students are able to see the complexity and nuance of knowledge and how it is used in different fields and disciplines.
To use RLS effectively, students should first identify the key concepts and themes that are relevant to the RLS. Next, they should analyze the RLS and consider how the different ways of knowing and areas of knowledge that they have learned about in class are being used in the RLS. Finally, students should reflect on their own understanding of the RLS and how it relates to the course material.
Examples of real life situations in TOK
We all know that providing examples is the best option to explain something. What are the best examples? Of course – examples from your personal experience or other real life examples 😉
Below I have provided several examples of RLS that can be used in the TOK essay in connection with different AOKs and WOKs.
The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the medical field
This real life situation connects to the area of knowledge (AOK) of Natural Sciences as it involves the use of technology and data to improve medical diagnosis and treatment. The way of knowing (WOK) of reasoning is also relevant, as AI systems use logical algorithms to analyze medical data and make predictions about patient outcomes.
The impact of social media on political elections
This RLS connects to the AOK of Human Sciences, as it deals with the study of human behavior and communication in the context of politics. The WOK of language is also relevant, as social media platforms provide a space for political discourse and the dissemination of information.
The role of cultural appropriation in the fashion industry
This RLS connects to the AOK of History as it deals with the cultural and historical context of fashion and how it’s been used. The WOK of emotion is also relevant, as cultural appropriation can be a sensitive topic that evokes strong emotions.
The ethics of gene editing
This RLS connects to the AOK of Ethics, as it deals with the moral implications of using technology to alter human DNA. The WOK of intuition is also relevant, as the ethical considerations surrounding gene editing are complex and can be difficult to fully understand.
The use of algorithms in criminal justice
This RLS connects to the AOK of Mathematics, as it deals with the use of statistical analysis and decision-making algorithms in the criminal justice system. The WOK of perception is also relevant, as algorithms can be used to predict and prevent crime, which can affect how people perceive crime and safety in their communities.
The representation of mental health in the media
This RLS connects to the AOK of Arts, as it deals with how mental health is portrayed in various forms of media such as film, television, and literature. The WOK of memory is also relevant, as media representation of mental health can shape how people remember and understand mental illness.
The use of drones in warfare
This RLS connects to the AOK of Technology, as it deals with the use of advanced technology in military operations. The WOK of sense perception is also relevant, as drones can be used to gather information and conduct surveillance, which can affect how people perceive and understand the battlefield.
These are just a few examples, and it’s worth noting that many real-life situations can connect to multiple areas of knowledge and ways of knowing, and can also be examined from different perspectives.
You have to select some good situations and be prepared to provide arguments and counterarguments. HINT! If you have a critical thinking, you are halfway there.
Importance of selecting a good RLS
Selecting the right Real Life Situation (RLS) for a specific TOK essay title is crucial because it allows students to effectively connect the abstract concepts they are learning about in class to real-world examples.
By selecting a relevant RLS, students can demonstrate their understanding of the key concepts and themes that are central to the TOK course, and can provide a concrete context for their analysis and reflection.
For example, if the essay title is “The role of emotions in decision-making,” an appropriate RLS would be one that deals with the emotional impact of a particular event or experience.
Another example is a situation in which a person makes a decision based on their emotions rather than reason, or a situation in which a person’s emotions influence their perception of a situation. By examining this RLS, students can demonstrate their understanding of the key concept of emotion and how it relates to decision-making.
Similarly, if the essay title is “The impact of technology on knowledge,” an appropriate RLS would be one that deals with the ways in which technology is used to acquire, process and share knowledge.
Here comes another example, the use of AI in medical diagnosis, or the use of social media to spread information. By analyzing this RLS, students can demonstrate their understanding of the key concept of technology and how it relates to knowledge.
Additionally, it’s crucial to use RLS in the context of different TOK key concepts and not forget about different ways of knowing and the different areas of knowledge. This allows students to show how the different ways of knowing and areas of knowledge are used in a particular RLS, and how they relate to one another.
If you are interested, I have provided numerous different RLS for current May 2023 TOK essay titles that you can find by following the link below:
Your turn to use real life situations in TOK essay writing
In conclusion, Real Life Situations (RLS) are like the cherry on top of your TOK sundae. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on all the abstract concepts, BOOM, we drop a RLS on you to spice things up.
But seriously, RLS are a crucial tool in the TOK class as they help students understand how the abstract concepts they are learning about in class apply to the real world.
By selecting the right RLS for a specific TOK essay title, students can show off their understanding of TOK structure, key concepts and themes and impress their teachers. Moreover, usage of RLS confirms that student follows the TOK essay rubric and can gain better grade.
So go forth and impress, and remember: “When life gives you RLS, make a TOK essay out of it!” and, don’t you forget about TOK essay submission deadline, my friend.
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