Ways of KnowingThe Ways of Knowing have been with most of you since birth. Every day you use themwithout even thinking about them. They are so much a part of you and who you are thatI doubt that you have ever really considered them or the vital role they play in your aquisition of knowledge.The TOK course defines the four ways of knowing as follows:PerceptionThe senses, the way in which you see the world as it appears to you: sight, hearing,touch, smell, taste. Often taken for granted, until you lose them of course.Think about the amount of information that comes to you visually. Even the words youare reading now. Look around you, what do you see? Advertisements? Books? Posters?Magazines? What messages are you being given non-verbally?Consider how much information you are given audibly, that you need to be able to hear to compute. Information from the television, radio, teachers, parents, friends. Have yougot a radio playing now? Is there a television switched on in the room you are in? Haveyou heard anything that the DJ or presenter has said in the last three minutes? Are youreceiving information consciously or subconsciously?How about smell? Did you know that your sense of smell is more closely related to your memory than any other of your senses?Taste. How do you know whether or not you like something? Whether something might be rotten or stale and therefore may harm you if you eat it. Taste - the great lifesaver!Likewise touch, the ability to tell the difference between hot and cold, sharp and blunt,solid or liquid - again vital survival tools, providing you with information about theworld around you.LanguageCan you remember when you started to learn your first language? Or when you werefirst able to make yourself understood and communicate with others? Of course not, youwere too young to be conscious of the fact that it was happening.Even now, when you are fluent in at least one language you don't consider the enormityof that skill. You naturally develop your language skills without a second thought.Consider the books you were reading in Year 7, now compare them with the books youare reading for your IB Language A1, at what point were you able to read at such asophisticated level? To understand such complex syntax? The acquisition of language plays a key role in the way in which your ideas are shaped.