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Theory of Knowledge for the IB Subject Areas TOK Advisory Introduction Renton High School September 22, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Theory of Knowledge for the IB Subject Areas TOK Advisory Introduction Renton High School September 22, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Theory of Knowledge for the IB Subject Areas TOK Advisory Introduction Renton High School September 22, 2014

2 Today’s Objectives Students should be able to: Explain what ToK is & its role in the DP Identify the 8 ways of knowing Identify the 8 areas of knowledge Explain what knowledge claims & questions are Construct an knowledge question

3 What do you know? Write down 5 things you KNOW are true HOW do you know they are true Could these truths NOT be true Testable and consistant over time

4 How do you know it’s true? Shared knowledge & personal knowledge Justified true belief (You have to believe it, it actually must be true and you have to prove it)

5 Aims of ToK “How do you know?” Explore how we acquire knowledge Explore how we evaluate knowledge Explore how culture affects how we know Self reflection about beliefs & assumptions Using knowledge to act responsibly

6 8 Ways of Knowing Language Sense Perception Emotion Reason Imagination* Faith* Intuition* Memory* *Added to curriculum for assessment 2015 How do you know those things YOU wrote down are true? Which ways of knowing did you use?

7 Areas of Knowledge Mathematics The Natural Sciences The Human Sciences The Arts History Ethics Religious Knowledge Systems* Indigenous Knowledge Systems* *Added to curriculum for assessment 2015

8 Assessments of ToK In order to show application of ToK knowledge to real world situations, IB requires*: Essay on a prescribed title (choose 1/6, 1600 words max, externally assessed) Presentation on a contemporary issue (self-select, 10 minutes per student, internally assessed but moderated) *Assessments are independent of the subject area assessments* You will also keep a journal of your thoughts, connecting the ideas discussed in class with real world examples you come across, either in the media or in your personal experiences. Class participation is discussion is also a critical, and required, part of assessment for TOK.

9 Assessment Objectives of ToK Identify how knowledge claims are justified Answer knowledge questions Explore relationships between disciplines & knowledge Explore relationships between ways of knowing & knowledge Connect the first four items Acknowledge validity of alternative perspectives Apply ToK knowledge to real world situations

10 Knowledge Claims First Order: claims about the world “There are an infinite number of prime numbers.” Second Order: claims about knowledge itself “Mathematical knowledge is certain.” TOK is concerned about the second order claims. Can you think of a knowledge claim about any content area? Now put that in the form of a question… Jeopardy style!

11 Knowledge Questions Knowledge questions are not questions of knowledge (“What is the square root of 225?”), they are questions about knowledge… How knowledge is constructed & evaluated Questions are contestable (numerous plausible answers) Expressed in general terms (not content specific) Focus: “How do we know?” “How do I know?”

12 Knowledge Questions Which is a knowledge question? “How does the placebo effect work?” (Explain the term) VS “In what ways do other ways of knowing contribute to scientific discoveries? (Multiple ways of thinking about the problem)

13 Knowledge Questions A knowledge question (KQ) is a question about the… ◦Search for,  Acquisition of, ◦ Production of,  Verification of, ◦KNOWLEDGE

14 Knowledge Questions What ethical responsibilities come with possessing knowledge? How can memory impact scientific objectivity? Is faith irrational? Is all evidence equal? How do emotions affect our perspectives? Is aesthetic value universal? Is there ever knowledge without evidence? How can we judge whether one model is better than another? How can it be that scientific knowledge changes over time? Was mathematics invented or discovered? Do moral truths exist?

15 EXAMPLE KQ Describe the real life situation (RLS): In his 2006 TED Talk, Sir Ken Robinson claims that schools are killing creativity by emphasizing certain types of intelligences at the expense of others. In particular, schools value students who can use logic, do math, and learn languages and steer students away from the arts. State one specific topic discussed within the RLS Schools emphasize mathematical intelligence, including the ability to use logic and reasoning to solve problems. Write a closed question (one with a correct answer) about the topic What is mathematical intelligence? Write an open question about knowledge based in the topic To what extent is mathematical intelligence inappropriate or insufficient in solving problems? Craft a knowledge question using TOK vocabulary What are the limits of reason as a way of knowing?

16 HOW DO I WRITE A KQ? Describe the real life situation (RLS): In the article “How Gay Marriage Won” from Time Magazine, journalist David Von Drehle cites research that the gay rights movement has progressed greatly, as shown by public opinion data and government policy changes. State one specific topic discussed within the RLS Public opinion data may be used to inform policy decisions on gay marriage Write a closed question (one with a correct answer) about the topic How has public opinion on gay marriage changed in the last 50 years? Write an open question about knowledge based in the topic How do we know that public opinions on gay marriage are changing? Craft a knowledge question using TOK vocabulary To what extent can we accurately measure knowledge that changes over time?

17 Knowledge Questions PRACTICE TIME!  In your small group, create a knowledge question using the article “Allegory of the Cave” as your real-life situation.  Begin by discussing the article as a group to review it. Then go through the “KQ Ladder” to craft a knowledge question together.  When you come up with your KQ, write it on the board.

18 Homework for Thurs., October 9 th Watch The Truman Show Answer these questions: 1) Truman is “On the air, unaware.” Is ignorance bliss? 2) “We’ve become bored with watching actors give us phony emotions, we’re tired of pyrotechnics and special effects”. How real is Truman's world? How real is Truman within this world? 3) What is real in Seahaven? 4) When does Truman's perception of reality alter? How is Truman eventually able to recognize his predicament? 5) Can Truman ever really know anything? 6) What is Truth to Truman? 7) How real is “reality TV”?

19 Connecting The Truman Show to the Allegory of the Cave: What parallels do you notice between Truman’s imprisonment in the Seahaven dome and the denizens of Plato’s cave? Knowledge Questions to think about (and answer): 1. To what extent are we all being duped by product placements and false realities presented to us by the media? What are the essential differences between the Truman predicament and our own? 2. “A robin redbreast in a cage, Puts all heaven in a rage.” What has William Blake’s couplet from Auguries of Innocence (1863) got to do with the Truman show? 3. What specific ethical objections arise from the “forbidden experiment” imposed on Truman since his birth in front of a live audience? 4. If you think you have knowledge / truth then do you? How far is truth linked to our perception?

20 Support? Ideas? Jeff Heft Teri Barlow Shehnaz Wadhwania


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