20 Diploma Programme Theory of Knowledge Teacher Support Material: Assessment Exemplars, November 2002
How do beliefs about the world, and beliefs about what is valuable, influence the pursuit of
If you ask a person from anywhere in the world what he or she values most there is a good chance
that the answer will be “my family”. In some places it might seem like the most obvious answer
while in others it might be the answer given to please rather than a honest and real answer.
Wouldn’t our world look much different if the answer turned out to be true? Then people wouldn’t
have to write books to hang out their evil parents, there would be no more families broken up
because of financial successes or failures, but then again everyone’s idea of the perfect family
probably is not the same. While I would consider perfection to be a place where family members
show each other respect and consideration while getting along, a Muslim father in a traditional
setting may worry about family pride and liaisons between children and future spouses. In the end,
how does it influence their pursuit of knowledge?
“A successful sumo (Japanese wrestler) is well fed, well paid, and is showered with gifts from his
fans. He lives and trains in a stable with other wrestlers where teenage apprentices cook for him,
do his laundry-and even wipe his bottom if he is too fat to reach it himself. When he wants to get
married he has little trouble finding a bride-often among Japan’s top models or actresses. Luckily