Introspection and Action. Part 1

When asked about the nature and purpose of Philosophy, philosophers often feel embarrassed to have to offer a univocal reply, so multifarious and contrasted are the definitions and uses of their field of enquiry. All the definitions, schools and polemics which have accumulated from the period of the pre-Socratics to the present day, revolve around the inherent dual identity of Philosophy, namely, introspection and action. Classical Philosophy is primarily concerned with what Michel Foucault called ‘the care of the self’, that ...

Forest fires in the USA

Climate change is causing devastation in America’s forests, owing to fire, insect-infestations and drought. All are related to a warming climate. In 2013, Yosemite National Park was affected by California’s third-largest ever wildfire, which burnt over a quarter of a million acres. Wildfires in the USA. Source: The Economist In 2015, over 10m of America’s 766m acres of forest were consumed by wildfires. This was the biggest area burned since 1960, and cost the government over $2 billion. The growth of wildfires is ...

Cloze exercises with a Twist

Here is a little more developed approach to cloze exercises.  I particularly like the aspect of having the students develop their own short contributions.  Many of you probably use this technique with poetry, but here is a nice adaptation to prose.  And possibly short dramatic scenes lend themselves to the same practice. A proposal for work with close reading from Nataliya Tsvetkova, teacher of the Russian A Literature course In order to ensure that students have well understood and remembered the details ...

Quadratic Factorisation

Whether you are taking HL, SL or Studies, you can be certain that there will be at least one quadratic expression to factorise in your exams - probably several. Here is my quick guide. If I multiply out these brackets: $(x-1)(x+3)$ I will get: $x^2+2x-3$ The result is a quadratic expression: a quadratic must have a term in $x^2$, and can also have a term in $x$ and a constant (a number). If you reverse the process, you will be factorising the quadratic. So, here are ...

Anti-trafficking policies

The USA publishes a Trafficking in Persons Report annually (http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/) and the United Nations has produced two reports on global trafficking. The USA’s Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (TVPA, 2000) encourages governments to join in the fight against human trafficking. The TVPA contains three main components: protection - increased efforts to protect foreign national victims as well as non-immigrants; prosecution - of traffickers related to forced labour and sexual exploitation prevention - to assist other governments to reduce trafficking. Attempts to reduce ...

Facing up to the IA assessment: the dreaded oral

This is a tough one, and there's no doubt about that.  Here are a few bits of good advice selected from various teachers. Collaborative advice from teachers for HL/SL candidates facing the IA for Part 2 Preparation through the year Take good notes in class, mark up your poems or passages, and all of your Part 2 works, color code, so that you have easily accessible materials to revisit for review for both the IOC and the HL discussion. Pace your review, ...

PHOTOGRAPHY and the visual arts exhibition (and Blue Nudes in Hull?)

Blue Nudes in Hull I don’t come from Hull  (England) - or to give it its full name Kingston Upon Hull - but it’s less than 50 miles from my birthplace (using the A15 if anyone is interested), and will be UK city of culture in 2017, and is the latest place that has been part of/enjoyed the ideas of Spencer Tunick. Last month more than 3,000 people stripped naked and were painted blue to mark Hull's City of Culture next year. Hull City ...

Approaches To Learning Flipped

ATL flipped? What an earth does this mean? Last month I wrote a post on the IB’s ideas about how you, the student should approach your learning in class – this is what is termed the ‘Approaches to Learning’ and it forms part of a wider focus on the IB called ‘Approaches to Teaching and Learning’ or ‘ATL’. If you remember, the IB said that you, the student should approach learning using one of five different techniques – Thinking Skills Communication Skills, ...

Understanding Number Systems

Whichever IB Mathematics level you are following, you need to understand the concept of number systems. The simplest system is the set of Natural Numbers, sometimes called the Counting Numbers. Using set notation, these numbers are: {1, 2, 3, 4 ......} and are called the natural numbers because they are the only ones which occur naturally. Negative numbers are an invention (you can't have less than nothing), although we can easily use negative numbers to represent real things. For example, a temperature ...

A Scholarship Student’s Perspective

Each year OSC offers a number of scholarships for the Exam Revision Courses in Oxford. Britten Holter was awarded a Chemistry scholarship this year - below is an account of her time in Oxford. Why did you apply for the scholarship? I was getting more and more nervous about the approaching Chemistry exam as I felt I was going to fail the exams. Preparing with past papers was not going well and I did not know what to do in order to ...