A grade will be entered for Thursday…

You will need to ARRIVE at class 12/13 with a printout of the work you’ve accomplished including:

A grade will be entered for you based on the substance of the work you’ve produced [both quality and quantity are considered].  Your drafts should be complete and thorough (but not perfect).  You will be showing your drafts to others, reading the drafts of other students, and giving feedback to other students.

We will spend time in class questioning the work we are doing.  We will consider potential changes to our work… and then (on Friday) we will make appropriate changes both to our work and to our ‘role of the historian’ essays in order to make the history itself and the ‘role of the historian’ essay consistent with each other.  On Monday, December 17, each student will submit his/her own work; we will view each others’ work during class.

History Project small-group discussions

Please read the Malice of Herodotus linked in the media library.  After reading Plutarch’s views about what a historian should do, distill his writing into a list in your Journal.  Then, after discussing with others, create a similar list.  You may borrow from Plutarch, but only if his criteria lead you to an ideal history.  For a more modern discussion about the semantic influence of word choice, consider this piece from the L.A. Times.

After hearing and documenting his list and then creating your own, you are ready to discuss with your group what they think is ideal.  Make sure your group is in agreement about what sorts of words you should be including.  Once you’ve created a composite list of criteria for the word choice, then you should begin reading and editing each others’ work.

Junior Diploma Candidates [in group A] – Numeracy

Numeracy – the ability to understand mathematically…

Numeracy involves several linked concepts, one of which is “Mathematics literacy”

“an individual’s capacity to identify and understand the role that mathematics plays in the world, to make well-founded mathematical judgments and to engage in mathematics in ways that meet the needs of that individual’s current and future life as a constructive, concerned and reflective citizen.” — Programme for International Assessment, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2000

This article does a fair job of explaining the dilemma…

Here’s your challenge – during the second half of class today…

  1. Research and understand the U.S. national debt
  2. Determine what is so important about it – what should be told?
  3. Determine who your target audience is – who should be told?
  4. Discuss what role mathematical understanding plays in knowing what should be told – how can mathematics be useful and why will it work?
  5. Then, tell it.  Mathematically.

There are limits.  Your written portion should include:

  • a “working bibliography” that includes what you considered in order to know [#1]
  • a paragraph to explain what should be told to whom [and why it should be told]
  • a paragraph to explain how numeracy is involved…
  • and, lastly, a mathematical explanation.  This should NOT involve more than 50 words max.  It SHOULD involve (probably several) visual/mathematical explanations.

Ideally, you can finish in class today and email your product to me with “pretok math debtin the subject line.  Please submit it in this order: mathematical explanation, explanation paragraphs, working biblio) as one word document.

For our History Project

Today’s work included:

Choosing a topic from the following:

Benghazi                             Egypt                    Syria                     Palestine

  1. Submission of a plan that includes:
    1. Group Topic
    2. Group Members
  2. Deciding ‘what should be told’…
    1.      Group “Mission” statement – or merely a ‘working thesis’
    2.      Responsibilities of Group members
  3. Complete the “What is History?” Organizer

For Tomorrow, Wednesday December 5th, bring a computer or a number of researched articles or texts that will help inform your work in-class.  The expectation is that you use class time to work on your ToK History project (this expectation will be the same each day).  You may organize your research, begin drafting your thoughts, or consider/plan your layout for the project.

I will provide a few [20 computers] on the following days Thursday, 12/6 [small lab], a Monday 12/10 [cart], 12/11 [small lab], 12/12 [cart].  The finished product will be due no earlier than Thursday 12/13.

The Basic Timeline is as follows:

Wednesday and Thursday – Research Topic

Friday – plan scope and layout of the final product

Monday, Tuesday – Draft History and create layout

Wednesday – Edit, revise and improve layout

Thursday – Work brought to class finished

Thursday (in-class)- Comparisons made between histories

Friday 12/14 – Reflections in class

Then, your work will be put on public display in the library.

On Monday, December 3rd…

We will be distilling our notes from November 30th into a cohesive ‘essay’.  Each student will be working individually to explain what all historians should do.

As you consider what to do in class, start from the heart.  My recommendation is to begin with your initial take on the question – what should a historian include in a quality history?  From there, you could consider the things we addressed in class…

  1. How does a historian determine what happened?
  2. Should a historian concern herself with her audience?
  3. What should a historian try to achieve?
  4. What does an ideal history contain?
  5. How should a history be told?
  6. What should a historian share with the reader about herself?
  7. What should a historian avoid?

I haven’t given you detailed guidelines so that your writing doesn’t seem like you’re filling in a worksheet [formulaic writing is really boring to read].  If you’re done and want to see some other things that you could have considered, I give you permission to click here.

Please remember that in class we were very particular about the term ‘bias’.  There are so many ways for a history to include ‘bias’, or for a historian to be ‘biased’, that the broad-brushed term is virtually useless.  Please be sure to specify precisely what you mean.

The draft that you produce on Monday will be important in several ways:

  • it will guide your research into the assigned historical episode
  • it will help determine what you will include in your history
  • it will influence the word choice and narrative style you use to write
  • it will help you refine your edited product
  • and, oh-by-the-way, it will carry significant weight in the gradebook