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Here’s My Absolutism/Relativism Project For TOK – Help Me Make It Better

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Like very other IB Theory of Knowledge teacher in the world, I cover absolutism and relativism when we’re studying Ethics, which we are doing this week.

I thought I’d try something a little different this year, and it went relatively well. I wanted to share it and get feedback about how I could make it better.

After giving a very quick intro to the the two concepts, I had students read a slightly modified version of this article, Absolutism and Relativism.

I then had students do this project (you can download the same instructions here):

Absolutism versus Relativism Project

1) Read two-page Absolutism vs. Relativism article with a partner

2) Each of you write down a one sentence summary of absolutism and write a one sentence summary of relativism.  Think of some examples to show the different – DO NOT use examples from the article.   You can each write the same things down if you work together.

3) Share what your wrote with another group when Mr. Ferlazzo makes the announcement to do so.

4) With your partner and the other group that you shared with, create a series of skits showing:

* a situation where absolutism could be beneficial to society and the search for knowledge

* a situation where absolutism could be could be hurtful to society and the search for knowledge

* a situation where relativism could be beneficial to society and the search for knowledge

* a situation where relativism could be hurtful to society and the search for knowledge.

The skits cannot take more than four minutes to perform all together.  Introducing each one does not count against the time.

These examples must NOT come from the article.

 

It seemed to go fairly well.  The one minute time limits were unrealistic, and not everybody got it right (I should have done some model skits first).  But, in general, I think students were pretty creative in their examples, and it was much more engaging than the usual brief review I do on the concepts.

How do you think I could improve it?

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

One Comment

  1. To make it better:

    1) Model a skit with what you want to see
    2) Extend the skit to 1-2 minutes or longer if you deem this necessary
    3) Video the skits
    4) Have the students vote on the one that is the best skit and provide reasoning as to their decision. This should be student lead.
    5. Use a few of the skits as exemplars for the next time.
    6. Thank you for sharing

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