ToK 12

Week of February 19

Date Agenda Homework
  • 2018 prescribed essay topics
  • In 5 groups of 6-7 with your assigned PT:
    • Identify and define key words in the topic
    • Indicate which AoKs would likely provide fertile sources of analysis for this topic and an sentence or so why this might be true
    • Make a t chart of substantive examples that both support and oppose the statement made by the topic
    • Be prepared to share your thoughts with the rest of the class
  • PT whole class discussion

Draft PE - Due Tuesday, February 26

  • Finish PT brainstorm posters. I will photograph them and put the file on the website today.
  • Mr. Reese and Senior IB information
  • Group Consultation with teacher - Presentation topics/Group work time on presentations

Draft PE - Due Tuesday, February 26

Week of February 12

Date Agenda Homework

Read the article from The Hill on Donald Trump's response to the Confederate monument controversy. Then, from the perspective of a historian, write a one page recommendation on what should happen to the monuments. Your recommendation should use both available sources and you knowledge of history. Your recommendation should be as specific as possible. Be prepared to discuss on Thursday;

Prescribed essay draft - Due February 26

  • Presentation revisions
  • History Small group discussion - continued

Tuesday - Look at the prescribed essay topics. Think about which you wish to use. Unpack the topic, defining key words and indicating which AoKs might be used in its analysis

Prescribed essay draft - Due February 26

Week of February 5

Date Agenda Homework
  • Collect presentation proposals
  • Read the article given out at the beginning of class. Do you agree with what has been done with this edition of the NIV Bible? What KQ does this raise?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Religious Language
  • Discussion of scripture and gender
  • Return Presentation proposals/Discuss revisions. Central KQs must:
    • Be KQ 2s - they must make no reference to the world, but,
    • They must support productive discussion of your RWS - So you should be able to generate multiple KQ1's which relate to your RWS from the original KQ2
    • This discussion must be a substantive investigation of how knowledge works with regard to your RWS. It must not simply be a discussion of the RWS.
    • In your resubmission you can provide me a KQ progression that shows how the KQ2, KQ1s and RWS will work together in the presentation
  • Small Group Discussion: History as an area of knowledge
  • History case study: Should Confederate monuments remain?
Read and annotate (and watch if you can) New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu’s speech on Confederate monuments. Answer and be prepared to discuss the following questions:
1. How does Landrieu answer question 1? What evidence does he provide?
2.How does the Landrieu speech address question 2? Again, cite specific examples from the speech
3.How does the Landrieu speech address question 3? Again, cite specific examples
4. Is it possible for history to be politically neutral? Is this similar to or different from the other AoKs?

Week of January 29

Date Agenda Homework
  • Lecture Discussion - Perspectives on religious diversity
  • Presentation discussions and group formation
Read and annotate Hawking - Thursday
  • Questions on presentations?
  • Lecture/Discussion: What is the relationship between religion and science?
  • Discussion of Hawking

Week of January 22

Date Agenda Homework
  • ToK Presentation information (from the ToK guide, pp. 55-58, 63-64)
  • Brainstorm - Together, let's list as many world religions and subdivisions of world religions as we can.
  • Journal: How does the diversity of World Religions effect RKS as an Area of knowledge? Is this diversity similar to or different from the other AoKs
  • Lecture/Discussion: Perspectives on Religious diversity

Week of January 15

Date Agenda Homework
  • Lecture/Discussion - Logical proofs for the existence and non-existence of God (finish)
  • Small groups: 1) Does the problem of evil rationally disprove the existence of God? 2) How might the problem of evil be rationally refuted? 3) How important is this kind of argumentation to RKS?
  • Discuss "the problem of evil." Does this argument disprove the existence of God?
  • Journal/In small groups: 1) What is faith? Brainstorm as many aspects of faith as you can 2) In what ways does it differ from reason? 3) What is the balance between faith and reason in religious knowledge systems?
  • Discuss faith questions
Read and annotate Kierkegaard - Tuesday, January 23

Week of January 8

Date Agenda Homework
  • Journal (individually)- 1) Should religious knowledge systems be considered areas of knowledge in the same way that the natural Sciences and Math are areas of knowledge? Explain your answer. 2) What are the unique challenges of studying religion as an Area of Knowledge?
  • Discuss journal questions in your small groups
  • Religion unit questions (the structure of the unit)
  • THS IB academic honesty policy
  • Lecture/Discussion - Reason and religion
  • Journal: 1) What role does reason play in RKS? 2) Does Reason have the same role/power in RKS that it does in science, math or history? Why or why not? What does the answer say about RKS?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Logical proofs for the existence and non-existence of God

Week of January 1, 2018

Date Agenda Homework
  • Meet in d 210
  • Math Presentations: Reimann
  • Meet in D 210
  • Math Presentations: Boole and Godel
Monday - Second semester overview and important IB dates

Week of December 11


Agenda Homework
  • Math Presentations Leibntz & Newton, Euler
  • No Class


Week of December 4

Date Agenda Homework
  • Class meets in D210 - Math conversations: Brahmagupta, Muhammad Al-Khwarizmi, Fibonacci
  • Class meet in D210 - Math conversationsNewton and Leibniz, Euler, Gauss
Remaining conversations, Tuesday, December 12

Week of November 27

Date Agenda Homework
  • Substitute - Meet in A211
  • Work on presentations and fall PE
Fall PE drafts postponed to Tuesday, December 5
  • Math history conversations - class is in D210
  • The following groups should be prepared to present today: Pythagoras, Euclid, Brahmagupta, Muhammad Al-Khwarizmi
Fall PE drafts postponed to Tuesday, December 5

Week of November 13

Date Agenda Homework
  • Mr. Reese and the EE
  • Review and timing
  • Math project work time
  • Please establish a shared page where your annotated Bibliography will develop. When you have done this, generate an editable link and send it to Mr. Haydock via email. Please only edit your own mathematician's page.
Math project conversations - due Thursday
  • Math project work time
  • Please make a shared google doc for your group. Then please create a share link. Please make it editable. Then send it to me.
  • Please edit only your own group's document.
  • Conversation order: Pythagoras, Euclid, Brahmagupta, Muhammad Al-Khwarizmi Fibonacci, Newton and Leibniz, Euler, Gauss Boole, Reimann (corrections?)

Week of November 6

Date Agenda Homework
  • List the member of your group on the board and indicate the name of the work. If you need to send me your presentation, please do so now.
  • Last minute group preparations
  • Group presentations from MoMA. MoMA annotations (individual) due today
  • Finish MoMA presentations
Math presentations - Aim for being ready by Thursday, November 16.

Week of October 30

Date Agenda Homework
  • MoMA Assignment and info
  • From Yesterday's trip, “How do the works in the MoMA (individually or collectively) create knowledge? How is this knowledge distinct from and similar to the knowledge generated by the other AoKs?" Whole class discussion. Things to consider:
      • How is knowledge from art different from Knowledge gained from other sources?
      • What did you learn yesterday?
      • What exhibits were most impactful?
      • What ways of knowing were most important to you in the museum?
      • What was you favorite part of the museum? What part did you not enjoy?
      • How did the experience of being in the museum with friends and colleagues add or change your experience?
  • Math history assignment
  • Work time - art presentation groups, "With your group, choose one of the works that intrigued you all and prepare a presentation the includes a slide sized reproduction of your work and an explanation of both the work, its background and how the work connects to the prescribed topic(s) and writing(s) of your choice. The only slide should be the work itself. All discussion, analysis and reflection should be done by the group orally. Presentations must be 3-4 minutes in length."
Presentations due - Tuesday, November 7

Week of October 23

Date Agenda Homework
  • Journal: Small group - 1) To what extent is IK scientific? 2) What contributions has IK made to modern science?
  • Whole Group:1) Are IK and western science compatible? 2) What are the basic assumptions made by IK? By western science? 3) Can IK survive integration with Western science? 4) Do these articles provide an effective framework for understanding IK? 5) How do these articles relate to the PE topic
Read and annotate sustainability article - Thursday


Week of October 16

Date Agenda Homework
  • Lecture/Discussion - What are indigenous people? What is indigenous knowledge?
  • On a separate sheet of paper, make a page sized T chart. Label the left side "Modern Western education." Thinking as an anthropologist studying the culture of the education, with your group, brainstorm as many characteristics of the modern educational system as you can. Think about issues like methodology, assessment, learning environment, values systems, etc..
  • Then label the right side of the t-chart "Indigenous education." In your groups brainstorm as many characteristics of indigenous education as you can from the article. To the extent possible, try to come up with corresponding entries on the right for each entry on the left.
  • At the bottom of the T chart assess what you consider to be the relative strengths and weaknesses of each system
  • Discussion of Indigenous v. Western educational models (time allowing)
Read and annotate "Traditional Knowledge is Science" - Tuesday, October 24
  • Brainstorm/Discuss contrasts in indigenous v. Western education
  • Journal: Thinking about the differences between Western v. indigenous education, describe the values that underlie each system. By values I mean what each system claims to value in education.
  • Discussion - To what extent do we succeed in fulfilling our values in the modern school system. Where are we successful and where do we fall short?
Read and annotate "Traditional Knowledge is Science" - Tuesday, October 24

Week of October 9

Date Agenda Homework
  • Journal: Review your video notes. Highlight the most significant characteristics of Modern Western knowledge and IK from the video. Be prepared to share
  • MoMA Field Trip - Monday, October 30
  • Discuss /debrief 1000 suns
  • Lecture/Discussion - What is IK?
  • Journal: Think about the video and these two questions:
    • In what ways does being closer to the land contribute to the Gamo culture? In the first three minutes of the film, an Ethiopian elder said, "I can't see any land or fields. There is nothing. These people just live on concrete surfaces." How might his observation, and perplexity, be an insight into the modern world's connection with nature and the land we live on? Is there a place in the modern world for believing that the earth is sacred?
    • Critics of the Green Revolution in Africa feel that economic development models are being imposed and indigenous peoples are forced to assimilate unsustainable Western consumerist paradigms of development, disrupting 10,000 year old traditions of land use. Do you agree? Why or why not? If yes, what do you see as alternatives?

Given the obvious differences in world view, values and relationship with the natural world, is it possible that modern western knowledge systems (AoKs, especially NatSci) can coexist fruitfully? Explain your answer and be prepared to discuss.

  • Lecture/discussion - What is indigenous knowledge?
  • Discussion - Coexistence?
Read and annotate Indigenous education article

Week of

Date Agenda Homework
  • “The quality of knowledge produced by an academic discipline is directly proportional to the duration of historical development of that discipline.” Explore this claim with reference to two disciplines.
  • In small groups, brainstorm examples and approaches to the PT from within the natural sciences. What articles, sources, and (other) class examples can you come up with? be prepared to share your ideas with the class.

Week of September 25

Date Agenda Homework
  • Journal: According to Popper, how do the natural sciences work?
  • Lecture/Discussion - 3 views of scientific progress (pt. 1): Whig science and Karl Popper
  • Reading time - Kuhn article
Read and annotate Kuhn Article - Thursday
  • Journal: What reading have we done this year that reflects Kuhn's ideas, but does so outside of the natural sciences? Can you find a Kuhnian quote from this document?
  • Lecture/Discussion - 3 views of scientific progress (pt. 2): Thomas Kuhn: normal and revolutionary science

Week of September 18

Date Agenda Homework
  • Lecture/Discussion - The observer effect
  • Reading time - Replication Crisis
Read and annotate replication crisis article
  • Small Group Discussion - A close reading of the replication crisis article
Read and annotate Kuhn excerpts - Tuesday, September 26

Week of September 11

Date Agenda Homework
  • Journal (in small groups)- 1) What role does mathematics play in the generation of scientific knowledge? 2) What is the central argument of the author? 3) What correctives are suggested by the author? 4) What KQ2 are suggested by this article?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Challenges of science, pt. 2: the relationship between math and scientific certainty
Read and annotate the Confirmation bias article - Thursday
  • Journal - Answer the following questions regarding NPR story on NIH funding NPR story:
    • What is the main point of this story?
    • How is this story related to the article you annotated for today's class?
    • What knowledge questions do these two stories raise regarding the natural sciences?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Lecture/discussion - problems of science: Confirmation bias and scientific ethics
Read and annotate bear drone article - Tuesday

Week of September 4

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday Which title do you wish to write on for the fall PE? Vote here!
  • Selection of first PT. We will do this at the beginning of class - no poll.
  • Small group brainstorm - approaches, resources and AoK progression
  • Return Bayesian article
  • Whole group unpacking and brainstorm of chosen topic

Fall PE

Drafts Due - December 1

Returned by Mr. Haydock - December 7

Final Drafts - December 14 (must be delivered to Mr. Haydock by 10:30 AM)

Week of August 28

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday Read and annotate Bayesian Statistics article - Thursday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Review Climate Dice article
  • Discussion of KQ progressions and what makes for productive KQ progressions
  • Groups choose the best KQ progression and write a new KQ progression given our discussion today
  • KQs, presentations and papers

Week of August 21

Date Agenda Homework
  • Lecture/Discussion - Science as process
  • Read the pseudo science articles and answer the questions from the presentation in small groups.
  • Brainstorm/Discussion - What makes something pseudo science?
Read and take notes on the on line article, "Truth or Denial" - Read through section two and then explore the rest of the site. This article was produced by the film production company that produced the 2016 movie Denial.
  • Journal - In small groups: 1)Based on the article, write a KC, KQ1 and KQ2 progression 2) What is Denial and what are its causes? 3) What examples of denial are mentioned in the article? Can you think of outside of those mentioned in the article? 4) How should the scientific community combat denial?
  • Whole group discussion.
Read an annotate the NASA climate change article - Focus on ATiP1-2,6 and what makes this study scientific - be prepared to cite examples

Week of August 14

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday Read and Annotate Pigliucci and Boudry - Thursday
  • In your small groups, using the Pigluicci and Boudry article identify 2 each of the following:
    • Subjects
    • Knowledge claims
    • KQ1
    • KQ2
  • Lecture/Discussion - Introduction to Natural Science: The problem of demarcation (and pseudo Science)
Read and annotate SEP/Popper Excerpts- Tuesday August 23

Week of August 7

Date Agenda Homework
  • We will meet in A 211 during the first week. If we are still too big to fit in a standard classroom, we will move to D210 in the week of August 15
  • Welcome/changes/syllabus/groups
  • Lecture/Discussion: ToK - Why?, or, ToK - Now more than ever!
Read and annotate Gavin Article - Thursday