Business Management through the lens of TOK

The new Business Management guide makes the links between the subject and TOK far more explicit and increases the expectation that TOK should be incorporated into the Business curriculum, in addition to discrete TOK lessons. Students of Business Management, like other group 3 subjects, study individuals and societies. This means that they explore the interactions between humans and their environment in time and place, and gather and process data by applying a number of business tools, theories and techniques. There are ...

“What’s your favourite number?”

Mathematician Alex Bellos was intensely irritated by the question. Was that person in the audience mocking him, or possibly ridiculing what he’d been saying about mathematics, to ask such a bizarre and irrelevant question at the end of his lecture? The audience member had asked him, as others had done before, “What’s your favourite number?” In this podcast conversation from Radiolab, Bellos describes his abrupt shift of perspective as he realizes that the questioner is asking in sincerity. Quickly, he discovers ...

time-delay in vision: TOK sense perception and the world

"What you are seeing at the present moment is not a fresh snapshot of the world but rather an average of what you've seen in the past 10 to 15 seconds," says a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jason Fischer, who conducted experiments while a PhD student in David Whitney’s lab at UC Berkeley, is lead author of a new study finding that what we see “may be a time-averaged composite of now and the past”. The brain, in ...

Definitely not the Olympics!: kinds of knowledge and ways of gaining it

I've just posted "Definitely not the Olympics!" in my parallel blog for students, using the Olympics (and my own utterly non-Olympic experience) to raise some knowledge question about the interaction of kinds of knowledge and ways of knowing.  Have you also brought the Sochi Games into TOK? The Olympics certain provide some splendid examples of gaining knowledge (what kind? gained how?) and testing it in practice and demonstration.  Playing a short video clip of aerial skiing, slope style snowboarding, or ice ...

Definitely not the Olympics!

Yes, that's me sprawled in the soft snow -- and laughing.  I thought I knew how to turn sharply left at the bottom of the steep hill.  But evidently -- put to the test -- I didn't.  This is definitely not the Olympics! Have you, like me, been watching the competitions from Sochi?  Do you, like me, cry out in sympathy when athletes wipe out?  These people are all so skilled at hurtling swiftly over slippery surfaces or spinning their bodies ...

TOK: reading the eyes

  Take this quiz first to score yourself on “reading” other people’s emotions.  And then ask yourself, “To what extent do I trust this quiz to give a reliable conclusion, and why (or not)?”  Your evaluation of this method of testing is bound to raise the broader knowledge question, “How do I know what emotion someone else is feeling?”  or, even more broadly, “How can we know, or understand, emotion?” Much of your own life depends on understanding how people respond to ...

Structure and Freedom in the New TOK Course

“Do you think means it just won’t work to have the WOK taught separately at all?”  This question was posed by teacher and blogger Larry Ferlazzo as he sought commentary on the new version of the TOK course.  It was the first time I’d visited his impressive blogsite, which I encourage you to check out.  In response to his invitation, I contributed my own thoughts on his blog, and now include them here.…… I’ve commented earlier in this TOK meets ...

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, ...