(by Eileen Dombrowski, from OUP blog) A storm of controversy over a swimming suit? Astonishingly, it’s not even a risqué one! Women have recently been fined in France for keeping too much of their bodies covered on the beach – and towns have passed regional laws to ban the “burkini”. The ban on this bathing costume, however, has met extensive protest. The top French administrative court has now overturned it. A cultural flashpoint hotly contested, the burkini offers an ideal class activity – not because the TOK course cares about beachwear but because the controversy provides material for students to consider the nature of symbolism and to practise their skills of analyzing perspectives in application to issues very alive in the world. Continue reading
Dombrowski, Rotenberg, Bick. Theory of Knowledge IB Course Companion. Oxford University Press, 2013.
- analysis arts cause classification cognitive bias concepts/language confirmation bias critical thinking definitions emotion ethics evidence fallacies history human sciences imagination implications indigenous knowledge intuition knowing how knowledge claims knowledge questions language literature mathematics media memory methodology natural sciences personal knowledge perspectives psychology reason sense perception shared knowledge sources statistics symbolic representation truth ways of knowing
Dombrowski, Rotenberg, Bick. TOK Spanish translation. Teoría del Conocimiento, Libro del Alumno. Oxford University Press, 2015.
- A TOK class for exam month: mathematics, nature, art, technology…and peaceful contemplation of beauty
- “But then I checked the facts… “
- Exercise for awareness: facts, feelings, and changing your mind
- Biases, fallacies, argument: Would you argue with a T-rex?
- (Dis)trusting statistics: a one-page guide
- Facts matter after all: rejecting the “backfire effect”
- History: writing the past, drafting the future
- “Fake news”: updating TOK critique
- “How am I supposed to appreciate it?” Art, science, and some silly assumptions
- Download TOK resource: 2017 TOK blog posts, collected
- “2017, a good year”: Wasn’t it?
- “Those experts!”: cartoon, class discussion activity
- Signed language, symbolism, and reflections on inclusion
- Do Nobel prizes distort public understanding of scientific knowledge?
- SPOT and the cloak of invisibility: cognitive biases
- That event in the past: what do we make it signify in the present?
- Sharing knowledge – effectively!
- Standing at the Centre of the World: TOK class discussion (with handout)
- PS to “This is the nature of science.”
- “This is the nature of science.”
- Indigenous Knowledge: not a separable area of knowledge
- Controversy in the Canada Day Party: analyzing perspectives for understanding
- Love, betrayal, and physics: “Everything goes better with narrative”
- Consuming the news: Is knowing harder than dieting?
- Love, luck, literature, and logic: Who will win the lady?
- “Moral robots” and that messy human factor
- Red lines and “complex moral duality”: TOK and ethics of witnessing
- The Statistics of an Emotion: 2017 World Happiness Report
- TOK and “fake news”: 3 tips, 2 downloads, and 3 resources
- A Bhangra smile: great way to open a TOK class
- Thank you, Hans Rosling: numbers, facts, and the world
- AGAINST empathy? Really?
- Media literacy for TOK?
- “Therapy wars” and the human sciences
- “Comfort” and discomfort: history and the shadows of the past
- Download TOK resource: 2016 TOK blog posts
- Film sound and the beautiful lie
- Is mathematics a gateway to empathy?
- Oh, that air of authority!
- Thinking beyond the knowledge bubbles
the essential question of knowledgeThe question “How do we know?” drives inquiry. When we ask it with the stress on the last word – know — it opens up overview questions on the very nature of knowledge and the forms it takes. When we ask it with the stress on the first word – how? – it takes an analytical edge applied to methods of giving answers. In this blog, we follow this question — sometimes seriously, sometimes lightheartedly — through issues and stories of our day.