ToK 12

Week of May 3

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday
  • Study hall

 

Thursday
  • Study hall

 

Week of April 2

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday

 

Thursday
  • Lecture/discussion - Russell and the value of a philosophical mindset

 

Week of April 11

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday
  • Read - "Where Am I" by Daniel Dennett. Your annotation should focus on what what constitutes our identity and the problems with the typical theories outlined at the beginning of class.

Read and react to "Where Am I" - Due Thursday at 7:10 AM

Thursday

Enjoy your break!

Week of April 4

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday

 

Thursday
  • Discussion of the problem of evil

 

Week of March 28

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday

Read and annotate Jackson and Nagel, focusing on the central question - Are we made out of meat? - Due Thursday

Thursday
  • Mind-body discussion

 

Week of March 21

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday
  • Read from the article set dealing with the Ukrainian situation
  • In at least a full 1 page annotation, take notes on what you read, and then asnwer the following questions:
      • What are the most important factual details in the Ukraine story?
      • NATO and the US have several policy options with regard to Ukraine: No involvement, weapons supplies to Ukraine, a no fly zone over Ukraine or NATO ground and air forces defending Ukraine. Which of these policies would you recommend? What are the reasons for your recommendation? What are the most significant downsides of your recommendation?
      • How does the conflict in Ukraine end (this is asking for your informed speculation)?
  • Useful resources for understanding the Ukraine crisis:

 

Thursday
  • Discuss American Policy in Ukraine

 

Week of March 14

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday
  • Read and annotate d'Holbach - Due to teams at the end of the period.

 

Thursday
  • Freedom discussion

 

Week of March 7

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday

Read and annotate "The Deadweight loss of Christmas" focusing on methods and conclusions - Due Tuesday, March 8

Thursday
  • Discussion - "The Deadweight loss of Christmas"

 

Week of February 28

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday
  • Small group discusion of Sandel

Please see the note in Teams posted Friday for the due date of the Final PE;

Read and annotate "The Deadweight loss of Christmas" focusing on methods and conclusions - Due Tuesday, March 8

Thursday
  • General comments on Spring PE and Spring PE revision work and consultation time
  • Example PE

Read and annotate "The Deadweight loss of Christmas" focusing on methods and conclusions - Due Thursday, March 10;

On Tuesday we will watch a video by social scientist Richard Wilkinson on the impact of inequality on human society

Week of February 21

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday
  • Read and discuss Smith and Bastiat - 1) Are there laws of economics? 2) If the way markets operate (supply and demand, profit motive, etc) is natural, to what extent should our actions be guided by these principles?
  • Lecture/discussion - Normative v. descriptive theories in the social sciences
  • Sandel reading time

Read and annotate Sandel - Thursday

Thursday
  • Small group discussion - Sandel

 

Week of February 14

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday
  • Debrief Verstehen activity
  • Lecture/discussion - Big data and the human sciences

Divide your groups in half (a-b). A will read and annotate - Traits and attributes are predictable from
digital records of human behavior,
while B will read and annotate Computer Based Personality Judgment Are More Accurate than Human Judgments

Annotations should focus on the methods used in the study, how they relate to big data, and the possible uses and abuses of these methods. Don't get tied up in the math used in the studies!

PE #2 Draft - Due Friday, February 18 at 11:59 PM

Thursday
  • Small group discussion of Big data studies

PE #2 Draft - Due Friday, February 18 at 11:59 PM

Week of February 7

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday

 

Thursday

Verstehen Homework - due Tuesday, February 15;

PE #2 draft - due to teams on Friday, February 18

Week of January 31

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday

 

Thursday
  • Answer the questions from the presentation in your journal and be prepared to discus them with the class
  • Lecture/discussion - Introduction to the Human Sciences

Read and annotate opposing viewpoints on whether the human sciences are science:

1. No they are not by Alex Berezow

2. Yes they are by Melanie Tannenbaum

Week of January 24

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday
  • Discussion of the Virginia law and the intersection of politics and history

Read and annotate - Two States, Eight textbooks, Two American Stories - due Thursday, January 27 - This article needs to be read online to see the examples. If the above link is blocked by a paywall, try these two methods:

This is a link to the article from A214 Board site. Usually the Times drops the paywall for connections made through social media. If that doesn't work, try Googling the title of the article . The Times used to allow access to five free articles a day via Google.

Thursday

 

Week of January 17

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday
  • Lecture/discussion - "History and historiography"
  • DuBoise reading

Read and annotate Black Reconstruction (excerpts) - Due Thursday

Thursday
  • Lecture/Discussion - "Historiography of the Civil War"
  • Discussion of DuBoise reading
  • Here is the entire chapter of "The Propaganda of History" from Duboise' Black Reconstruction. The section we read starts on p. 39 of the PDF. Have this open when we discuss the document.
  • Here is the Virginia Law referred to in the discussion

Read the Virginia Law. Describe, using bullet points, what the law does and what its likely effects on the classroom would be (Think about what we read and talked about on Thursday, for example). Then answer the following questions:

  1. What would Duboise response to this proposed law likely be?
  2. How is it that these issues are still with us in 2022?

Week of January 10

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday

Read and annotate Mitch Landrieu's speech on the removal of Confederate monuments - due Thursday, January 13

Thursday
  • Discussion of Landrieu's speech and what it tells us about history as a discipline

 

Week of January 3

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday

 

Thursday

Read and annotate Mitch Landrieu's speech on the removal of Confederate monuments - due Thursday, January 13

Week of December 6

Fall PE General Comments

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday
  • History intro small group discussion

 

Thursday

 

The Arts presentation

Week of November 29

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday
  • Debate prep time

 

Thursday
  • Art and ethics debate

Read and annotate - "The Fog of History Wars" - Due Tuesday, December 7(PDF version)

Week of November 15

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday

 

Thursday
  • Lecture/Discussion - "ethics and art"
  • Debate prep for end of unit debate

 

Week of November 8

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday

Choose and answer 5 of the Maya Lin discussion questions - Due Tuesday, November 16

Thursday
  • No School - Veteran's day - Did you know that "Since 2001, between 1.9 and 3 million service members have served in post-9/11 war operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and over half of them have deployed more than once. Many times that number of Americans have borne the costs of war as spouses, parents, children, and friends cope with their loved ones’ absence, mourn their deaths, or greet the changed person who often returns."
  • Take some time this weekend to think about the weight that has been borne by our soldiers and their families on our behalf. If they can bear this burden, we can all bear the much simpler burdens of good citizenship - work hard, do well in school, be informed, vote . . . care. Have a great weekend.

Source: Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs, Brown University

 

Week of November 1

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday
  • With your groups complete discussion of additional exhibits listed here. Discuss with your group and complete the questions at the end of the exhibit list for each exhibit considered.

Identify a work of art that was not on our list but which you believe contributes to our knowledge about a difficult event (this could be historical or contemporary). Describe the event and the work of art that helps us to understand it, then analyze the work using the questions for the in class activity. Due Thursday to Teams.

Thursday
  • Small group activity grading change
  • Whole class discussion of the following proposition: The arts are essential to understanding the qualitative dimension of the human experience in ways that history, the human sciences, math and the natural sciences are not. Discussion should be guided, in part, by examples drawn from the activity done in class over the last two days and the example you generated as homework. You may argue either side of this proposition. Quote points will be awarded for quotes and specific detailed reference to a work of art examined in class or from HW.

Read (don't annotate) this description of the Vietnam War - Due Tuesday, November 9;

Supplemental reading - I read this today and thought it was quite thoughtfully relevant to our current PE topic. There is nothing you need to do with this, but It might help stir some ideas regarding the PE

Week of October 25

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday
  • Migrating to Teams
  • Lecture/Discussion - Finish Aesthetic theories - institutionalism
  • Discussion Thursday's homework - Use the works of art we examined in the introductory activity to examine the three strengths and weaknesses of the seven approaches to aesthetics we examined over the previous class sessions.
  • PE Check in and question brainstorm for panel discussion

Read and annotate Salcedo - due Thursday in Teams;

PE Draft: 11:59 PM Wednesday, November 10

Thursday
  • Investigation of Salcedo's idea - Art, politics, tragedy and reconciliation
  • With your Group Choose one of the exhibits listed here. Discuss with your group and complete the questions by the end of the period. If you can complete more than one - great, if not have a good, in-depth discussion!

PE Draft: 11:59 PM Wednesday, November 10

Week of October 18

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday
  • Debrief Greenberg discussion
  • Lecture discussion - Aesthetic theories

Complete aesthetic theories notes template - Due in hard copy - Thursday

Thursday
  • Discussion of Aesthetic theories

Use the works of art we examined in the introductory activity to examine the three strengths and weaknesses of the seven approaches to aesthetics we examined over the last two days - Due Monday in Teams

Week of October 11

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday
  • Debrief "What is good art? discussion"
  • Small group discussion of Tolstoy and Picasso

Read and annotate Greenberg - due Thursday in Canvas

Thursday
  • Small group discussion of Greenberg

 

Week of October 4

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday

Read and annotate Tolstoy - Due Thursday, October 7 to Canvas

Thursday
  • Socratic discussion - Art
    • What makes good art?
    • What is and is not art?
    • Who determines the answers to the above two questions?

Read and annotate Tolstoy - Due Thursday, October 7 to Canvas;

Read and annotate Picasso - due Tuesday, October 12 to Canvas

Week of September 27

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday

 

Thursday

Read and annotate Tolstoy - Due Thursday, October 7 to Canvas

Week of September 20

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday
  • Journal instructions
  • Journal: What are your "best practices" for determining the credibility of information on the internet? Share five rules that you have learned over the years. For those in psychology, don't share out your responses
  • Lecture/Discussion - "The crisis of information literacy"

 

Thursday
  • Info Lit 2 - "Methods for effective internet research: SIFT"
  • Assess the claim made in the email reproduced on the last slide in the InfoLit presentation using the tools we have discussed today. Your assessment should describe exactly how you investigate the claim, and should contain urls and descriptions of each site you use.

Claim assessment - due Tuesday in Canvas

Week of September 13

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday
  • Discussion - Approaches to the Fall PE (groups report out and general guidance)
  • How can Mr. Fishburn and Mr. Haydock best help you with this topic?

 

Thursday

 

Week of September 6

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday

 

Thursday
  • Group Activity - Unpacking the PE title
  • We will all write on topic three for the first semester paper:

    "Is there solid justification for regarding knowledge in the natural sciences more highly than knowledge in another area of knowledge? Discuss with reference to the natural sciences and one
    other
    area of knowledge."

  • This activity should be generated by ideas that come from your group. For now, avoid the internet.
  • In your groups create a shared word document that all members of your group can access. The analyze the topic in the following ways:
      1. What words in the PT need to be defined? List these words and then agree to contextual definitions (ie - not dictionary definitions) for each one. In your explanation, explain what each word demands from someone writing on this topic.
      2. Brainstorm possible examples (at least three) that could be used to answer this question in the affirmative. Briefly explain each example.
      3. Brainstorm possible examples (at least three) that could be used to answer this question in the negative. Briefly explain each example.
      4. Think of the teachers you have or have had at THS. What questions would you pose to them regarding this topic? Your group should pose at least five questions. You may direct your questions to specific teachers if you choose.

Group Activity due Monday in this Canvas inbox

Week of August 30

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday
  • Henrietta Lacks Small group discussion
  • Thursday's debate format

Vaccine mandates - a ToK scientific ethics debate - due Tuesday

Resources:

Ethical Considerations for a COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate - from the Society for Critical Care Medicine

Vaccine Mandates are Lawful, Effective and Based on Rock-Solid Science from Scientific American

University Vaccine Mandates Violate Medical Ethics - from the Wall Street Journal

Instead of an annotation, prepare a basic argument outline (discussed in class) for your assigned position. Please also write three questions you would pose to the opposing side. - Due Thursday

Thursday
  • Debate - Are vaccine mandates ethical?

 

Week of August 23

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday
  • Key ToK concepts report out
  • Lecture/Discussion - "Overview of approaches to ethics"

Read and annotate Lacks article - Submit via Canvas by Thursday

Thursday
  • Discuss Tuesday assignment (Basic argument outline)
  • Finish ToK key terms presentations
  • Whole group group discussion of Lacks article (comparing ethical approaches)

Vaccine mandates - a ToK scientific ethics debate - due Thursday

Resources:

Ethical Considerations for a COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate - from the Society for Critical Care Medicine

Vaccine Mandates are Lawful, Effective and Based on Rock-Solid Science from Scientific American

University Vaccine Mandates Violate Medical Ethics - from the Wall Street Journal

Instead of an annotation, prepare a basic argument outline (discussed in class) for your assigned position. Please also write three questions you would pose to the opposing side.

 

Week of August 16

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday

 

Thursday
  • Small group instructions
  • Finish small group discussion and discuss key ToK Concepts
  • Key points in the syllabus

 

Week of August 9

Date Agenda Homework
Tuesday
  • Welcome!
  • Seating
  • The new "new normal"
  • Mr. Haydock and Mr. Fishburn in a bag
  • Syllabus

Read and annotate - "Humans have pushed the climate into ‘unprecedented’ territory, landmark U.N. report finds" - Due Tuesday, August 17

Thursday
  • Find and sit with the others who share your number ( I will number you when class starts)
  • Canvas introduction and registration
  • Small group activity - Key ToK concepts (knowledge questions, evidence, certainty, truth, interpretation, power, justification, explanation, objectivity, perspective, culture, values and responsibility).

Read and annotate - "Humans have pushed the climate into ‘unprecedented’ territory, landmark U.N. report finds" - Due Tuesday, August 17- Think about the following questions:

1. What ethical obligations does knowledge impose on us?

2. What are the ethical obligations for scientists regarding this knowledge?

3. What should be the relationship between scientific knowledge and ethics?

Due Tuesday, August 17

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