The extract below is taken from the TOK guide (produced by IBO) for assessment starting 2015:
Indigenous knowledge systems
In what ways are sense perception and memory crucial in constructing knowledge in indigenous knowledge systems? How do beliefs about the physical and metaphysical world influence the pursuit of knowledge in indigenous knowledge systems? How do indigenous people use the concept of respect to relate to their view of the world?
Indigenous knowledge systems explore local knowledge unique to a particular culture or society. The term usually refers to the knowledge constructed by a particular group of people such as the Namaqua people of Southern Africa, the Secoya people of Ecuador and Peru, the Ryukyuan people of Japan and the Wopkaimin people of Papua New Guinea. An important feature of indigenous knowledge systems is that they are not static. They are dynamic as a result of both internal and external influences. The Maori knowledge system today, for example, is a mixture of traditional knowledge and knowledge inherited over time from exposure to European culture.
TOK students can explore this AOK from a general, broad point of view to raise awareness of the diversity of indigenous knowledge systems or they could study a particular indigenous knowledge system. When studying indigenous knowledge systems, it is important to examine the methods of communication, decision-making processes, thinking processes and the holistic view of knowledge.