CONTEMPORARY ART and THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE

 I recently spent a day at the TATE MODERN gallery with a group of Norwegian students and their teachers, who were staying in London for a few days having left Oslo the day before. We were looking for links between, and questions about, Art and the Theory of Knowledge. My role at the Tate on that day was to introduce and explain to the students some of the tricky issues that infuse and surround contemporary art. Tate Modern is the ...

Knowledge Questions

Knowledge Questions (KQs) are the heart of the Theory of Knowledge course in the DP, yet it is not unusual to find many students and (let’s say this quietly), even some teachers who do not seem to grasp what they are and what they are for. If you read the IBO guidelines on TOK you will find explanations of the nature of KQs as well as a table of examples of good KQs, acceptable KQs, not so good KQs and questions ...

Satire, stripping away sugar coatings

I think you can still get access to the satirical video through this blogsite, with its accompanying commentary: desmog.  It seems that the oil company Suncor did NOT like the spoof done by sumofus of their promotion of the Alberta oil sands.  The original site, which I viewed just an hour ago, is now marked "page not found".  In the blog, I encourage you to watch first the original video ad and then the spoof. But how is this contest between the ...

TOK and the “real world”: How do we engage most appropriately when knowledge claims have been politicized?

  As a TOK teacher, do you feel you can be “political” in the classroom?   I’d love to have your thoughts on this topic. (Please use that “comment” feature!) I’d love to know how others walk the line between being relevant to the world – and hence engaged in its issues – and being neutral in order not be accused of being an ideologue, inappropriately, in the classroom. Would you, for instance, give the following article to your students, and if ...

Correlation or causation?: climate change and increased violence

Few recent scientific studies have received as much media coverage as one published recently in Science, arguing for a causal link between climate warming and violence.  The range of media sources covering it is as impressive as the number:  not just general news media at all levels, in many parts of the world, and not just science journals, but also those with particular perspectives, among them religious (or, at least Christian) environmental, police-based, medical and business.  Why should this particular ...