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March 11, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

List Of Knowledge Questions My TOK Students Are Using This Year For Their Oral Presentations

It’s that time of year – this week my IB Theory of Knowledge students began working on their Oral Presentations.

Earlier this week, I shared that I had completed revised and re-organized the very scaffolded system I use to help students prepare this project. You can see it here.

And, as I’ve been doing for the past few years, I thought readers might be interested in seeing a selection of some of the Knowledge Questions my students will be exploring in their presentations this year.

You can see the topics from previous years here:

Review Topics and Primary Knowledge Questions  (from 2016 class)

Primary Knowledge Questions From 2017 Class

Past Topics, Primary Knowledge Questions & Secondary Knowledge Questions (these are particularly useful for Groups Of Three Non-Diploma candidates who are presenting)

Here are selections from the 2018 “crop”:

To what extent does hope affect our thoughts and actions?

How does our culture affect our emotions?

To what extent does religious belief help or hinder us?

What does the quote “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” really mean?

What role does aggression play in society?

What role does seeking pleasure have in a teenager’s life?

To what extent does our social class define how we are viewed and treated in society?

To what extent does racism affect religion?

To what extent does culture affect our perception of right and wrong?

What role does “agency” have in people’s lives?

To what extent does having a sense of purpose affect how we view the world?

What effect does history have on our views of privilege and power?

How does our outer appearance interact with our inner life to make us who we are?

What is the role of sound in society?

To what extent are all languages connected and how does that affect our overall knowledge?

To what extent does humor reflect our ethics and morals?

Does the pursuit of money help or hinder us in our efforts to become the best people we can be?

What drives people to be cruel?

To what extent is someone’s poverty their own fault?

Under what circumstance are people willing to be consistent or non-consistent with their sense of morality?

What is the price of happiness?

To what extent do we let our emotions dictate or actions?

March 8, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

Take Two: Revised My TOK Oral Presentation Materials AGAIN

unsplash-logoJakob Owens


Last week, I announced that I had revised my IB Theory of Knowledge Oral Presentation materials, which I had.

However, as I began teaching about it this week, I realized that I needed to make some changes to make it better, which I completed today.

You can find the revised version here.

It’s fairly well scaffolded, and I think much better organized and easier to follow than it was previously.

Let me know if you have ideas on how to make it better!

March 7, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

Learning About Scientific Discovery In Theory Of Knowledge Class

In my IB Theory of Knowledge class, we talk about the scientific method as a tool for discovery and learning(see The Best Videos For Learning About The Scientific Method), but not just for scientific knowledge – it’s a process we use for many things we learn (I use how I learned to improving my shooting of free throws as an example).

But we also talk about how it is not the only way we learn and discover.

I typically show this NPR video on “scientific accidents” to illustrate how learning in science is not always a linear process:

(And, we always discuss Problems Of The Scientific Method)

Today, the Smithsonian published a very useful slideshow titled Sometimes, a Scientific “Eureka!” Moment Really Does Change the World.

It will be a nice complement to showing the NPR video….

March 4, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

My Revised Materials On The Theory Of Knowledge Oral Presentations


It’s that time of the year for many IB Theory of Knowledge classes – yes, the time for TOK Oral Presentations! (It’s also the time for making comments on TOK essays, and my colleague John Perryman wrote an invaluable guest post that made that has made that process much saner for me this year: see Guest Post: Template For Making Teacher Comments On TOK Essays).

We’re starting on the Presentations this Tuesday, so I revised my seven-week process.  You can find all of the materials, including a timeline and several videotaped examples, at our class blog.

Check out the Oral Presentation Schedule.

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