Theory of Knowledge for the 2014-2015 School year…

Well, the new school year is upon us, and with it the challenges of TOK for this year. The course for grade 12 students was scheduled outside the regular school day, so it is a challenge to find time in the morning or after school for the students to come in. As well, this year’s group will be the first using the new curriculum and new I.B. TOK assessment rubrics on their internal and external grades. Below are pictures of this year’s class doing our annual “mask” activity for our study on the Arts!

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The TOK teacher becomes the student, but in a REALLY nice place

So, for the next four days I am attending a workshop given by the I.B. about the changes to the Theory of Knowledge curriculum and how to best implement those changes in best practice teaching to my students. It is always hard to be away from my classroom during the school year. Whether through illness for myself, my children, etc. it is hard for me to break the stride of my teaching routine. Those who have been in my classroom probably would attest to the fact that I am a fairly structured person (some might even say ‘too’ structured). As a result, leaving my classroom for 3 days (actually 4 in total, but 3 away from the classroom) is hard for me. But, there is two benefits to compensate for the negative: first, is the learning I am acquiring to better inform my teaching practice in my TOK classroom, especially since I will again be teaching the grade 11 TOK course this year. And secondly, the only place this TOK workshop was going on this year was in Florida! Leaving Winnipeg the night before a large snowstorm and cold snap and

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heading to Florida where it is +28 Celsius outside and sunny right now is certainly a benefit. As well, the conference is held in a resort hotel with amazing accommodations. For example, lunch today was an amazing Mexican food smorgasbord as seen here:

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It was amazing. And to continue the torture of any of my student currently reading this post, here is a shot I took of a seagull I saw on my way to my “classroom” for today’s conference:


And, lastly, after lunch today, I had a little time before my afternoon session – so I went for a walk along the ocean beach and took this shot of some of the activities right beside my hotel:

Have fun kids, be good, get some work done, and be nice to the substitute!

Day 2…

Some more pics, including my classroom to make sure the kids know I’m actually not on vacation:

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Gettier and justified true belief: fifty years on | The Philosophers Magazine

This is the golden – the fiftieth – anniversary of Edmund Gettier’s remarkable paper on why knowledge isn’t justified true belief. It seems like an appropriate time, therefore, to evaluate what we have learned – or should have learned – from his elegant counterexamples. Gettier’s paper had a tremendous impact on contemporary epistemology. Measured in terms of impact per page his three-page paper (yes, only three pages) rates among the most influential of twentieth-century essays in philosophy. Prior to Gettier it was more or less assumed (without explicit defence) that knowledge, knowing that some proposition P was true (when it was in fact true), was to be distinguished from mere belief (opinion) that it was true, by one’s justification, evidence, or reasons for believing it true. I could believe – truly believe – that my horse would win the third race without knowing it would win. To know it would win I need more – some reason, evidence or justification (the race is fixed?) that would promote my true belief to the status of knowledge. Gettier produced examples to show that this simple equation of knowledge (K) with justified true belief (JTB) was too simplistic. His examples triggered a widespread search for a more satisfactory account of knowledge. Read more at: Gettier and justified true belief: fifty years on | The Philosophers Magazine.

And see this similar video: