ToK 12

Week of February 15

Date Agenda Homework
  • Finish Presentations
  • Art and ethics discussion

Write up on religion as an AoK

  • Discussion of Religion as an area of knoweldge


Week of October 8

Date Agenda Homework
  • Museum presentations

Read and annotate Riefenstahl article and watch the first 13:45 of Triumph of the Will - Thursday

  • Finish museum presentations (as needed)
  • Ethics and art


Week of October 1

Date Agenda Homework

Read and annotate tonality article

  • Is tonality universal across cultures?


Week of September 24

Date Agenda Homework




Week of September 17

Date Agenda Homework
  • Lecture/Discussion - Remaining aesthetic theories
  • Journal, in small groups - 1) If we asked Picasso, "What is art? and what makes art good? based on this reading, what would be his answer? 2) How do Picasso’s ideas connect with the Aesthetic theories we have addressed so far? 3) How does this argument distinguish art from other ways of knowing? Explain. 4) Identify a quote from the document that your group finds particularly meaningful or intriguing. Be prepared to explore this quote before the class.
  • Picasso discussion




Week of September 10

Date Agenda Homework
  • Lecture/Discussion - Finish Aesthetic theory

Read and annotate Picasso - due Tuesday, September 18

  • 2019 Prescribed topics
  • Overview of the prescribed essay
  • Whole class first look at each topic
  • Small group discussion of topics
  • Choosing the topic we write together for the fall


Week of September 3

Date Agenda Homework
  • What is art? Socratic discussion. Discussion should focus on the following questions (using examples from the works we investigated on Thursday):
    • What are the essential characteristics of art? (What qualities must something have to be art?)
    • What is not art? (What characteristics would make something definately not a work of art?)
    • Based on the works examined on Thursday, does Tolstoy's definition of art hold up? Why or why not?
    • By what criteria might we judge a work to be "good art" or "bad art."


  • As we go through the various aesthetic theories, we will ask you to do several things. First, be prepared to identify problems or omissions for each theory. Second, have your phone out with List of works we examined last Thursday up and your notes template from that day. For each theory, identify works that would be considered good or effective art given that theory's criteria.
  • Lecture/Discussion - Aesthetic theory
  • Link to Martin Irvine's outline of the institutional theory of art


Week of August 27

Date Agenda Homework
  • Put desks into color groups (upon entry)
  • Field trip form and voter reg. volunteers
  • Tolstoy discussion
    • In small groups - 1) What is Tolstoy's definition of art? 2) What is his standard for good art? 3) What does he maintain is bad art?
    • Large group socratic discussion. 1) What is art? 2) What qualifies as good art? 3) Does Tolstoy get the definition and function of art right? 4) What has Tolstoy left out?
    • Please try to illustrate your ideas with real examples whenever possible


  • What is art? Gallery walk. Use the template to record the main points of your group's discussion
  • List of works (click here for sound and video files)


Week of August 20

Date Agenda Homework
  • Journal (small group): Based on the handouts and the activity from last Thursday answer the following questions:
    1. What are the ethical responsibilities of the scientists involved in genetic testing and the consumers of these technologies? Are the responsibilities identical or different?
    2. What conflicts stood out from the Thursday activity? Do ethical principles provide a resolution for these conflicts?
    3. Would you take the Alzheimer's test? Why or why not?
    4. How are the different from those examined on Thursday? How are the ethical and legal situations raised by the Alzheimer's and Retinitis scenarios different from those we considered on Thursday?
    5. To what extent should the law reflect ethical principles raised by these situations? Put another way, are there legal solutions to some of the ethical dilemmas posed by these scenarios? What would legal solutions look like?
  • Bioethics whole class discussion of Alzheimer's and Retinitis Pigmentosa scenarios and reflection on Thursday's activity
  • If you signed up for voter registration, come see me briefly after class. We will begin lunchtime voter registration on Wednesday and Thursday of next week.

Thursday will be an EE day - DipCans should bring the appropriate materials

  • EE check and work day
  • Tolstoy questions:
    • What is Tolstoy's definition of art?
    • What is Tolstoy's definition of good art?
    • What as aspects of art does Tolstoy seem to leave out?

Read and annotate Tolstoy document - due Tuesday, August 28

Week of August 13

Date Agenda Homework
  • Review of ethical perspectives from last year
  • Discussion of ethics in the Natural Sciences
    • Brainstorm specific areas of scientific inquiry raise ethical questions
    • Which of the ethical perspectives that we examined last year would be most useful in sorting out the situations we brainstormed?
    • TWE should science be guided by ethics rather than purely by the pursuit of truth
  • For Thursday - Read the four scenario handouts from the NIH Bioethics project and complete the notes template.


  • The Ethics of genetic testing pt. 1 - Max and Camilla
  • Move desks into small group formation using the train cards. Assignment of roles (using role question sheets)
  • Small group discussion of your assigned role
  • Stakeholder conversation
  • Reflection time (in stakeholder groups again). Be prepared to share your thoughts and conclusions with the class)


Week of August 6

Date Agenda Homework
  • Please meet in A211 by 7:00 AM on Tuesday, August 7
  • Welcome/changes (annotations)/syllabus/groups (no fewer than four no more than 5)
  • Senior year scope and sequence (and Key dates!)
  • IB EE guide
  • EE integration and progress check

Read and annotate Gavin Article - Thursday


For Tuesday, answer the following questions regarding ethics and the natural sciences:

  • What specific areas of scientific inquiry raise ethical questions? List and briefly describe the three areas of inquiry and the ethical concerns that are raised by each.
  • Which of the ethical theories we discussed last March is most useful to address each of your three examples? Explain your reasoning.
  • Should scientists be bound by ethical codes or is the only goal of science the pursuit of truth and knowledge? Explain your answer