AN ORIGINAL PODCAST FOR TEACHERS, STUDENTS AND OTHER CURIOUS PEOPLE
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!
I know this will likely bother anyone who is interested in order and logic, but I've decided to break the order of prompts so I can publish them as I record them. Turns out the most interesting topics to those around me are not necessarily in the order the IB has given them. Who knew? Anyway...
Today I’m joined by Theatre Teacher, Bob Scheer. We get together and discuss TOK Exhibition Prompt 11: Can new knowledge change established values and beliefs? Bob has also done the beautiful harmonies for music on today’s podcast, they’re really beautiful!
Links & fact checks:
History of Gender Pronouns
JK Rowling on gender and cancellation - a worthwhile read, worthy of questioning what you think
Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
Don’t Say Gay
This is the second episode in a series exploring the TOK Exhibition Prompts. Today I’m joined by Adam Walker, expert and teacher of Theatre. We get together and discuss TOK Exhibition Prompt 2: Are some types of knowledge more useful than others?
We’re both teachers of the Arts, so our conversation focuses heavily around the Arts. It would be interesting to sit down with a physicist, architect, astronomer or statistician and have a similar conversation!
Links for some of the theatre references discussed:
Another thank you to Vyvienne Schapel for the quick little riffs taking us in and out of the podcast!
This is the first in a series exploring the TOK Exhibition Prompts. In these episodes, I don't intend to answer the questions, but rather explore them and get you thinking. I hope you enjoy and find it stimulating!
To explore Prompt 1: What counts of knowledge, it was helpful to think about the following Types of Knowledge:
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
Joining me today are Dr. Rachel Oser – a Research Scientist & Teacher, Mr. David Fenwick: a Physics, Mathematics and Engineering Teacher, and Mr. Kevin Hoye, an English and fellow TOK Teacher. The prompt is this years’ essay Title 6:
“Avoiding bias seems a commendable goal but this fails to recognize the positive role that bias can play in the pursuit of knowledge”
Questions we discuss:
* Why might avoiding bias be a commendable goal in the discipline you teach? What are some of the measures taken to avoid these biases in your discipline?
* The title seems to imply that it isn’t possible to avoid bias – do you agree? Are some biases therefore fundamental? In what ways?
* What positive role(s) might it play in the pursuit of knowledge in your discipline?
I really enjoyed this conversation, and I hope this gets you thinking about your own biases as well as the positive and negative roles they have in the disciplines you study.
Original music by Emily Osann
In this episode, I sat down and talked with my oldest daughter, who graduated last May from an IB school in Shanghai and is now studying Art at Parsons in New York. We discussed her experience as an IB student and she shares her perspective about TOK, CAS and IB in general. She also shares some honest advice in general about getting through IB and applying for Universities, as well as her experience and challenges as a Third Culture Kid in University. We share some good laughs in this episode, and I hope that you enjoy it as much as we did. Credit to Leah Osann and Xoai David for their beautiful vocal harmony, and Xoai on the guitar in their interpretation of No Surrender by Bruce Springsteen (hope the Boss won’t mind…)
This episode I give an introduction to four main theories or perspectives on ethics: Virtue ethics, Deontological Ethics, Consequentialism and Utilitarianism, and Moral Relativism. I discuss these theories in relation to current situations such as the MeToo Movement and Self-driving cars. I love ethics... so this will be the first of several episodes looking at how ethics shapes knowledge in other areas.
Should we as a global society value knowledge produced with reason over all other ways of knowing? In this episode, I explore a little more about the strengths and limitations of reason in contrast with intuition, faith and imagination. I’d like to give credit and thanks to the intro singer Kelsang Dorjee from Tibet with whom I had the pleasure of meeting and singing with a few years ago in Shanghai.
Welcome back for episode 2! In this episode I introduce my cohost, Hobbes and together we discuss the first way of knowing: Language. We ask and explore the questions: What's in a name? A word? How does language shape the way we think? Why does it matter?
Welcome to TOK Talk, a new podcast about Theory of Knowledge. What's that you say? Well listen to my first podcast to get a basic understanding, and stay tuned for more podcasts coming soon!