Shared knowledge: a moment of “Wow!”

You HAVE to watch this video from Discovery Channel! Watch it, and then rotate your screen for the view at the end. First, just enjoy it. And then we can link it to TOK.   Mount Everest in 3D: Experience the Trek to the Summit. For me, there are moments of wordless wonder – amazed at being given an echo of experiences so far beyond my own life, shared through stories or images. But, in a characteristic for which I have often ...

Fashion, symbolism and perspectives

In the student lobe of these blogs, I’ve just posted on a recent controversy that could engage students in TOK discussions on symbolic representation and cultural perspectives.  What are they “saying” as they wear certain symbols, such as the tee-shirt design that juxtaposed a skull and triangles that could be interpreted as a star of David?  The department store H&M made a public apology as it withdrew the tee-shirt.  I won’t repeat here what I wrote for students, but you may ...

Quebec Charter of Values in TOK: perspectives, symbolism, fallacies

[youtuber youtube='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTlDcDYf-ao'] Today protesters march in the streets of Montreal, opposing the newly announced Quebec Charter of Values.  The government of the Canadian province of Quebec has declared that certain values define their society, which has often had a fractious relationship with the rest of Canada.  Among those values – valeurs québécois -- are ones that would broadly capture agreement from Canadians, such as the religious neutrality of the state.  It is the application of this principle that has provoked outrage ...

Symbolism – a lost art?

In conversations with students during their interviews, they often talk about red being the 'colour of anger' and green being the 'colour of envy' - but it's generally a rather superficial and bland version of symbolism. I was reminded of the complexity of meaning(s)  that used to be known to and employed by artists in previous centuries in an article in the Independent Online...the serpent symbolizing evil and original sin, but also, apparently, wisdom... The National Portrait Gallery has put a copyright ...