AN ORIGINAL PODCAST FOR TEACHERS, STUDENTS AND OTHER CURIOUS PEOPLE
2023 Essay Title 1: Replicability
In this episode, I sat down with Donna Gee (IB Design Technology Teacher) and Michael Stewart (IB Psychology and TOK Teacher) to unpack and wrestle with 2023 TOK Essay Title 1: Is replicability necessary in the production of knowledge? Discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge.
We had a rich discussion which I hope you’ll find insightful into the role and relevance of replicability in different Areas of Knowledge.
2023 Essay Title 3: Bubbles
In this episode, I talked to Ian Galley (IBDP English Language & Literature) Nicole Mamphey (Science and Applied Ethics) about TOK Essay Title 3: Does it matter if our acquisition of knowledge happens in “bubbles” where some information and voices are excluded? Discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge.
We had a rich discussion about “bubbles'' as they exist in social media networks and internet platforms as well as within academia, algorithms, and how this contributes to, enhances and distorts our bubbles. We also discussed many of the real world consequences (why it matters!) that what we’re learning may occur in these bubbles.
We discussed relevant ideas including retracted findings of psychology and vaccination studies, bubbles in comedy and how it fits with the Benign Violation Theory, perspectives and the Soldier vs. Scout Mindset by Julia Galef, Spiral of Silence Theory and the social tendency to reinforce bubbles and silences descending voices, and the Metaverse. We discuss the difference between a community and a bubble: which one is more open to other ideas? How do they overlap?
We unpack and explore: Does it matter (to who? for what?) Does it matter to our acquisition of knowledge? Does it matter to the voices that are excluded? We challenge the notion that science is objective, and discuss how even in the sciences we want to reinforce what fits our own perspective and beliefs. We also begin to discuss voices that are excluded: silenced voices - why this matters!
In this episode, I sat down with DP Design Teacher Donna Gee and DP Global Politics Teacher Bill Kyzner to discuss TOK Exhibition Prompt 5: What counts as good evidence for a claim? It really got me thinking about the significance of this question in my own personal knowledge about myself and the world, but also in a bigger sense about claims being made in today’s very heated political world. We stayed focused in this talk about evidence and claims within Design and Global Politics, but I cannot stop thinking about how perspectives play a very significant role in just how much evidence is enough to be “good” enough, and the implications this has on all kinds of knowledge communities. There really is so much more to be said about this prompt. I’m gearing up to do a reflection episode, so if you have comments or things you’d like to add, please send me a message via the contact page at www.TOKTalk.org.
And thank you thank you thank you to Bernard Wun for his lovely guitar licks on this track!
Do good explanations have to be true?
Today’s topic is a previous TOK Essay title: “Do good explanations have to be true?” To help me explore this question, I am joined by four fellow IB & TOK Teachers: Mr. Bill Kyzner representing Political Science, Mr. Francis Wynne, representing the Classics, including Latin Language & Greek Mythology, Mr. Jordan West-Pratt representing Natural Sciences, and today I’ll be representing the Arts.
Questions we discuss in relation to Natural Sciences, Political Science, Classics and the Arts:
Three things that stand out to me after this conversation:
Finally, I still am left wondering about the relationship of truth to the goodness of an explanation, and how that might differ depending on the audience of the explanation - who is the explanation for? what is its’ purpose? and does that determine what makes it good rather than its truth quality? There’s still much to be considered here. A title like this one seems so simple, and yet so complex once we start to unpack it.
No matter if you’re a TOK student, teacher or knowledge enthusiast, I hope that our discussion got you thinking about the relationship of good explanations and truth in your areas of interest or expertise. Tune in again next time for the next episode of TOK Talk.
Thank you to the random street performer in Shanghai for the intro and outro music.
Today we delve into the world of Statistics, and unpack how it can be a tool that can both reveal and conceal. To help me with this complicated question, I’ve asked some well-informed people to help me unpack this year’s TOK Essay Title 4: “Statistics conceal as much as they reveal”
Here with me today are Ms. Zehra Baig, Statistics teacher, Mr. Martin Brown, Mathematics teacher and Ms. Virginia Voigt, Psychology teacher. We discuss:
Music Credit: The Plastic Daizi Collective, 2015