You are the anthropologist

For Homework due Thursday, January 11:

  1. Find a photograph with important cultural meaning to you.  Paste it into a document.
  2. Consider, in writing, the possible misinterpretation that one might have of this photo
  3. Describe the cultural understanding(s) necessary for someone to interpret this photograph correctly
  4. Conclude by describing what you see as the necessary personal skills and qualities that the ideal anthropologist should have

Monday, January 8th

Today, in class, you have been tasked with learning more about an economic sub-issue: crypto currency.  As you learn more, consider how the things you are wondering fit into our ToK exploration.  Please do consider the sources you find, record the knowledge questions you stumble into, and add quotations from knowledgeable sources that would be helpful to inform your opinions.  I will recommend a starting place, but your path may go anywhere you’d like from there.

When you arrive at class Tuesday, please bring a cohesively-written paragraph that includes charts/graphs and other support for your personal journey into and analysis of one of the numbered questions below.  We will have a graded discussion on the topic.

Depending on your level of understanding, you may need to begin at the beginning:

and then work from there to more complex ideas like…

  1. In what ways does crypto currency expose limitations of human nature?
  2. What ways of knowing are most involved in making a decision whether or not to invest in a crypto currency?
  3. What are the ethical implications of using a crypto currency?

For tomorrow, January 4th

Your task is to do well at DECA area (if you are competing).  If you’re attending class, you will have time to read ahead in the textbook.

As an introduction to the Human Sciences unit, please read and take notes on chapter 18 (298-322).   Please bring your notes to class Friday.  If you are competing in DECA, you may show me your notes on Monday, January 8.

You do not need to read/take notes on the discussion activities or inserted sections, only the main text.

Human Sciences: Intro to Econ

Begin your research into a subset of Economics.  Pick something you have NOT studied – something you don’t know much about (but are interested in).  What do you want to learn about?  Consider one of the following:

  • Tax Reform
  • The Stock Market
  • Carbon Tax
  • the distribution of wealth

Once you’ve figured out a subject to study, start asking yourself (and writing down) the central knowledge questions inherent within this field?  Some questions that came up in our discussions today included:

  • How do we conduct experiments to test economic theory?
    • What are the limitations of experimenting in the Human Sciences?
    • What insights do models and simulations give us?
    • Can we make a model that doesn’t have assumptions?
  • Can we make an economic decision that does not reflect our ethical values?
  • When we say “the money needs to come from somewhere…” we are operating with assumptions.  What are they?

Today, do some research into a subset of Economics and track your thinking (and especially the sites and sources you have consulted in that process).

If you’re stuck, consider this subset: How do you improve an economy?  What factors are involved?  Start your research here.

ToK New Year Celebration!

Welcome back!  So good to see you again! We’re working toward submitting a quality essay in early February (before break).  Before we get there, we will be completing a brainstorming activity planning our response on each of three or four of the prompts.

Here are the prompts.  You will choose from one of the following six REQUIRED 2018 prompts (titles) below.  Do NOT change the wording:

  1. “The fields of study of academic disciplines can overlap, but adopting interdisciplinary approaches to the production of knowledge leads only to confusion.” Discuss this claim.
  2. “We know with confidence only when we know little; with knowledge doubt increases” (adapted from JW von Goethe). Discuss this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.
  3. “Without the assumption of the existence of uniformities there can be no knowledge.” Discuss this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge.
  4. “Suspension of disbelief” is an essential feature of theatre. Is it essential in other areas of knowledge? Develop your answer with reference to two areas of knowledge.
  5. “The quality of knowledge produced by an academic discipline is directly proportional to the duration of historical development of that discipline.” Explore this claim with reference to two disciplines.
  6. “Robust knowledge requires both consensus and disagreement.” Discuss this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge.

Today, during class, you will produce a complete brainstorming for one essay.  Use your choice of one of the flow chart layouts as a template and work from there.  You will be evaluated on the rubric below.  A large part of your evaluation today will be based on your ability to complete a brainstorming with examples during class time.  Although the specificity and use of examples will distinguish top grades from acceptable ones, please spend your time thinking, not researching.


Rubric A B C unfortunate
Thesis Clear/focused, arguable; shows a deep understanding of relationships between parts Mostly clear, mostly arguable, and has some depth Vague, somewhat arguable, and has some depth Topical thesis, too vague, or uses fancy words to obscure lack of understanding.
Evidence Fully supports thesis, contains essential information relevant to theme; involves multiple Ways of Knowing and/or Areas of Knowledge All evidence is topically related to  the thesis; very little evidence is vague/generic; most evidence clearly supports an argument Most evidence is topically related to the thesis; some information is generic; evidence may wander from the argument or only be topically connected. Evidence is merely topically connected to the topic introduced in the thesis.  Connections are not apparent and are not clarified by the commentary (see below).

Relating Evidence

Clearly shows the relationships between & relevance of evidence; draws connections between multiple AoK’s or WoK’s; evaluates; analysis is personal; discusses implications of argument Somewhat shows the relationships between pieces of evidence; analyzes the content and drawing connections between different content areas, though may work mainly with one text Does not show the relationships between pieces of evidence;

analyzes parts of the content, though may focus mainly on comprehension

Student shows a basic understanding of the content:  most information is comprehension and may be underdeveloped
Organization Structure reinforces thesis argument; shape effectively contributes to explanation Shape mirrors ideas; shape does not necessarily further the argument or enhance presentation Simple shape implies argument; some evidence of link to the idea that is presented Basically, this is a text presentation within pictures.  This same argument would work with many shapes.