Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Theory of Knowledge - The first month

The first four weeks of Theory of Knowledge (TOK) classes have been very busy and the students have gained valuable insight into "how we know." Among the things we have done in the class, the IB students have

  • explored maps (mercator and other projections) as metaphors for the mental maps (worldview); 
  • considered how our perspective is shaped by the culture (or micro-culture) to which we belong;
  • examined how the biases of the team to which we belong binds us together and can blind us to the truth;
  • critically evaluated knowledge as true justified belief;
  • written think pieces examining themselves as knowers;
  • discussed when it it is appropriate to doubt, and when it is not;
  • considered three different checks for knowledge claims: coherence to what we already know, correspondence to the way things are, and pragmatic usefulness;
  • formulated broader questions about knowledge after looking at various real life situations;
  • examined the strengths and limitations of sense perception through the examination of optical illusions, amnesia, phantom limbs, and synaesthesia;
  • examines the strength and limitations of memory through the examination of eye witness testimony;
  • written a second think piece using eye witness testimony as we to examine the reliability of these two ways of knowing;
  • examined several forms of reasoning: informal, deductive, and inductive;
  • analyzed logical arguments to determine whether they were truthful and valid;
  • practiced our powers of deduction;
  • research and presented various common fallacies of reasoning, including strawman, ad hominem, and poisoning the well to name a few;
  • viewed a video on system one and system two thinking (intuition vs reasoning) to discover their strengths and limitations;
  • left TOK with the task of writing a think piece on how some of the things we have discussed in the class are evident in the subjects they are learning in the IB Diploma Programme.

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