For a Global Approach to Philosophy

All philosophies tend towards the same goal: the acquisition of wisdom, be it through transcendental meditation, spiritual contemplation or rational investigation. In a world open to all sorts of false claims, dangerous reinterpretations and approximations of so called ‘new truths’, philosophy, often under attack from malevolent quarters, has never appeared so urgently needed to repair our dented certainties and restore our belief in the power of objective reason and personal self-enlightenment. In his ambitious work Taking Back Philosophy. A Multicultural Manifesto (Columbia ...

AI: Humans Learning to Relate to Learning Machines

It seems that recently, my tech and education reading has been full of information and opinions about AI, Machine Learning and Robots. In this post I present you with a collection of articles exploring how humans learning to relate to learning machines interacts with our world of educating young people. The first is an article from The Conversation, by Stephen Corbett, Head of School of Education & Childhood Studies, University of Portsmouth, No, mobile phones should not be banned in schools, in ...

Isomers of Water

A week or so ago I stumbled across an article on the BBC website talking about isomers of water. At first, I thought a mistake had been made and that the article should have used the word 'isotopes'. I was thinking it was something to do with 'heavy water', water that contains the heavier isotope of hydrogen, deuterium. How wrong I was. (There is a lesson here: don't make assumptions!) The article was talking about the nuclei of the hydrogen atoms. We ...

Sustainable Projects and Ideas: Round Up

Below are a series of wonderful examples of the use of sustainable design in its many forms to get students juices flowing in terms of ideas to inspire them: 1) PET lamps weave textile traditions from plastic waste – RECYCLE I love when projects utilising recycling are very creative and artistic as it can really show what can be done (even if some would agree that the circular economy is more important than ad-hoc recycling iniatives). Pleats Please? Photo credit: Petit Pli 2) Origami Inspired ...

Forced Marriages in Britain

According to the Guardian newspaper, over 3,500 reports of forced marriage were made to the police during a three-year period. Charities believe that there are thousands more victims living in conditions of modern slavery in homes across the UK. Data from the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation recorded 3,546 reports between 2014 and 2016. However, some experts believe that this is merely the tip of the iceberg. During the same period, a UK helpline run by a different NGO received ...

Biomimicry in Design Technology

Although Biomimicry is not set within the Design Technology IB syllabus...I always utilise it as a wonderful way to add inspiration to a specific project as part of a design brief. It hopefully gives students another element within their toolkit when they are starting the design process and can immeasurably to their design process and creativity. Here are three case studies with videos which really do show the breadth of inspiration that can happen utilising biomimicry: you could utilise these as ...

Good Ideas for Interactive Orals (Part 2)

Here's another approach shared by Wendy Boisonnault and Arlene Lee from Sir Winston Churchill in Calgary. If you haven't encountered Andree Chedid's From Sleep Unbound, you might want to consider it for your syllabus.  Here's a brief summary from  Ohio University Press: From Sleep Unbound portrays the life of Samya, an Egyptian woman who is taken at age 15 from her Catholic boarding school and forced into a loveless and humiliating marriage. Eventually sundered from every human attachment, Samya lapses into despair ...

Sustainable Design and Corporate Strategy: Why Does It Go Wrong?

Sustainable Design is at the heart of the Design Technology IB Syllabus both in Standard Level Unit 2 and Higher Level Unit 8, but it is always worth ensuring that students really understand the complexity not only of creating excellent sustainable design but ensuring that it is successful in the marketplace in which it has to thrive if it is to change our habits and support our environment. The best way to study this is to utilise so examples of ...

Philosophy and May ’68 (Part 1)

Fifty years ago a spontaneous youth movement erupted and spread across the world, threatening to undermine the very foundations of prosperous nations, enjoying full employment and growing consumerism. This student revolt echoed, in scope, the short-lived 1848 revolutions in Europe and like them, ended up in frustration and disillusionment for millions of students and workers. The French ‘events’ of May ’68 encapsulated the essence of a profound social and political ‘malaise’ felt from Paris to San Francisco and Tokyo. Philosophy, ...