WHERE DO IDEAS COME FROM?

“Nothing is original. We create through experiment, struggle and learning from others”  Happy New Year! I’m starting off the 2017 visual arts blog with a big question: WHERE DO IDEAS COME FROM? This is part one of a blog two-parter. (Hey, it’s a big question!)   It’s actually as much a ToK question as a visual arts one, like many of the deeper questions in life. I could follow it up with some Knowledge Questions such as To what extent is creativity informed by research? To what ...

“All cultures have always believed that the map they valorize is real and true and objective and transparent.”

Here's a PS to the post on maps I made December 28. From his book  A History of the World in 12 Maps,  Jerry Brotton shares "the maps that tell us most about pivotal periods in human history." Check out this article by Uri Friedman in The Atlantic Cities:  The Quest to Create the Perfect Map.   Happy New Year!  

Googling 2013: questing knowledge?

The end of a calendar year (at least in Gregorian system that dominates most of the globe) is the time for reflection, statistics, and resolutions:  global issues vie, in retrospective summary, for comparative significance.  Bloggers, talk show hosts, prime time news shows are busy ranking and assessing. Globally, they ask, what are the most important news stories? Scientific discoveries? Sports events…”? and so on. Who is better to judge the real significance of news stories, though, than The People?  This is ...

We just can’t leave it alone: the past, memory, and history

It seems that we just can’t leave the past alone.  We choose what to deny and what to glorify from the life that we leave behind, as most of our moments drift entirely from our memories.  We reshape the past and impose upon its fuzzy outlines new stories of our own to fit our present interests and purposes.  In TOK, the addition of memory as a way of knowing opens up fascinating questions of knowledge.  Discussion of memory is likely ...

Framing knowledge: getting the structuring “just right”

“Where the historian’s interpretations of human behaviour are based largely on artifacts and documents, the human scientist’s are….”  “Natural scientists and human scientists share some core research methods, such as….”  “Unlike scientists, whether natural or human scientists, mathematicians….”  Comparisons lie at the heart of the TOK essay, comparisons drawn from the large overview of knowledge that our course takes.  Yet in what terms do we draw these comparisons, and what features of knowledge do we emphasize in the process?  As ...

TOK changes: not just “optional extras”

How does imagination interact with sense perception and memory? The new WOK change the way we deal with the old. A revised version of a course presents no particular problems for teachers new to the course in any case. They enter the new version as if the course has always been that way, and can quickly become bored listening to experienced teachers make comparisons – irrelevant comparisons -- between the old and the new.   If you are new to TOK, ...

TOK brain freeze?

Too many abstractions all at once can freeze your mind.  “Knowledge” is enough to produce brain-freeze all by itself.  What are you supposed to think about it, and how, when the word covers everything that everybody has ever known in all parts of the world?  The concept is simply too big and too vague to be able to focus on easily.  Then, when it is combined with “theory” – a very laaaaaarge concept -– “knowledge” can start to echo in ...

TOK Refreshment

It’s been only six months since I suspended this blog, but as I return I’m blinking with pleasure at the new surroundings. The web environment has changed: Triple A Learning is now teamed up with Oxford Study Courses in an attractive new site.  The TOK course itself has also changed: the revised version, with new structures and interesting new topics, is starting to roll. Have the readers changed too?   Welcome to new readers, and welcome back to those who have followed ...