TOK: #1 – Knowledge and Explaining

With reference to the class activity today about knowing and explaining, in what ways might it be reasonable to suggest that people who disagree can both be right?

It reasonable to suggest that people who disagree can both be right as it is possible for there to be multiple ways of interpreting a situation, with neither a single right or wrong answer. For example, if two objects are put next to each other, and there are two people viewing the objects from opposite sides, one person would say that Object A is on the left side, while the other would say that Object a is on the right side. They would disagree on which side Object A is on because they are looking at it from two different perspectives. However, they would both be correct, because the “right” answer depends on the viewer’s perspective. In this case, the “right” answer is simply what the respective person believes to be correct. Similarly, if two people were looking at the same piece of art, they may have different interpretations of the artwork, but neither of them would be wrong as a piece of art can have a different meaning for each person. There also isn’t only one way of interpreting a piece of art, and it can vary with each persons emotions or experiences. For example, if one person is feeling particularly happy while looking at the artwork, they may think the artwork is conveying a more positive emotion. Thus, it is possible that two people can disagree but both be right.

I believe being “right” does not only have to be an objective affair. While in some cases, there is only one definite “right” answer, such as the size of a certain object, there are many situations where being “right” is simply based on one’s own perspectives, beliefs, experiences. Everyone has a different perspective on life, and based on how they perceive the world, some things can be “right” for them and wrong for others. Therefore, being “right” can be a subjective claim that varies from person to person.


MYP Service As Action

How did you become more aware of your own strengths and areas for growth?
2016 CAS Week – Cambodia

Through various service activities, I’ve become more aware of my own strengths and areas for growth. For example, while creating lesson plans for kids in Cambodia, I realized that I had good collaboration and organization skills. I listened to my peers for their ideas and made sure everything was written out so we would know what to do during the lesson. However, something that I could continue to improve on would be my leadership skills, and being more assertive in my decision making.

How did you undertake challenges that developed new skills?
2016 CAS Week – Cambodia

By undertaking challenges and putting myself in unfamiliar situations, I’ve developed new skills, such as collaboration and organization. For example, during CAS Week in Cambodia, one of the service activities was creating a lesson plan to teach English to a group of kids. This was something that I had never done before so I found it challenging to come up with a lesson plan that was both engaging and effective. Through this experience, I was able to develop organization skills as I had to make sure everything would run smoothly during the lessons, and also creative thinking skills as I tried to come up with creative lesson plans and games that the kids would enjoy.  

How did you discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities?
2016 CAS Week – Cambodia

I discussed, evaluated and planned student-initiated activities while creating the lesson plans in Cambodia with a few other students. We kept revising and editing the lesson plan based on what went well and what didn’t each time, constantly striving to improve it. When something went wrong that day, we would modify our lesson plan to avoid making the same mistake the next day. We made sure we communicated well by sitting down each night to go over the next day’s lesson plan, and also helped each other generate new ideas.

How did you persevere in action?
First Aid Certification

To obtain my first aid qualification, I completed a 30 hour course over 4 days and also a final examination. I found this challenging at times as they were all new ideas to me and there was a lot of information to remember for the exam. However, I persevered even when I was getting tired throughout the course and continued to practice the required skills. It was also helpful that I did the course with one of my friends, so we were able to motivate and encourage each other. In the end, I successfully passed the exam and now have a valid first aid license.

How did you work collaboratively with others?
2015 CAS Week – Laos | 2016 CAS Week – Cambodia

During my CAS trip to Laos, I participated in a project which helped build a classroom for a high school. Throughout this process, I worked with other students from our school and local students to complete the task. As it was manual labor work, it was important that we collaborated and helped each. For example, while laying the bricks, we had to help each other make sure the wall was levelled and that everything was going to be stable enough. Similarly, in Cambodia I also had to work collaboratively with my peers to build the house for a family as most of the tasks required 2 people to work together.

How did you develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding?
2015 CAS Week – Laos | 2016 CAS Week – Cambodia

During the home stays in Laos, I had to communicate with the host families despite our language barrier. To overcome this challenge, we tried to use forms of communication that did not rely much on verbal communication. For example, we used hand gestures to communicate basic things. Although it was difficult to communicate with the locals, I still found myself getting along well with some of the local students and understanding their culture more. During the CAS trip to Cambodia, one part of the service was teaching kids english. This changed the way I thought about the world as it really made me realize how important education is to breaking the poverty cycle. Without proper education, it would be difficult for them to find a good job and provide for their family when they grow older.

How did you consider the ethical implications of your actions?
2016 CAS Week – Cambodia

Although I recognize that it is important for kids in developing countries to learn english in order to break the poverty cycle, I realized that at the same time we would be slowing taking them away from their local cultures and traditions, as throughout the generations they may slowly lose knowledge of their native language. Also, since their past generations have all had the same way of life (i.e. farming), giving them the chance to find the new job may break the family “traditions”.

Health and Wellness: Final Analysis

    • Were you able to continue with your selected habits for the entire semester. Explain.

I was able to continue with my healthy habit for food (aiming to drink 1-2L of water everyday) and sleep (using an app to track my sleep) for most of the semester because they weren’t extremely time consuming. However, I found it more difficult to continue my health habit regarding fitness for the entire semester because it was a lot more time consuming. During weeks where I had more work, I couldn’t participate in physical activity 4 times a week. Also, especially since I’m engaged in physical activity for more than 1 hour each time, it was difficult to find extra time to participate in physical once more each week than I already was.

    • Was this experience useful in promoting health and wellness into your life. Explain.

I think this experience was useful in promoting health and wellness into my life because it allowed me to become more aware of simple ways I could introduce more healthy habits into my daily lifestyle. Also, since it was over quite a long period of time, it allowed me to become used to incorporating these activities into my daily routine. For example, I’ve become used to using an app to track my sleep every night now, something that I had not previously done. This allowed me to become more conscious of the quality of sleep I was getting, and also helped me wake up at a more optimal time in regards to my sleep cycle. Furthermore, setting the goal of taking part in physical activity 4 times a week gave me more motivation to find time during my week for more exercise even when I was really busy.

    • Will you try to continue to implement some of the habits into your daily lives? Explain.

Yes, I will try to continue to implement these habits into my daily life, because even though they may be really small actions, I feel that they will still allow me to lead a healthier lifestyle. This will hopefully allow me to feel more energized throughout the day and also perform better in school and other activities as well. Other than continuing to implement these habits into my daily life, I may also try to extend them once I’ve become accustomed to all of them so I can continue to try to improve my health and wellness.

    • If you were to do this again, what would you change? Explain.

If I were to do this again, I think I would set a different fitness goal that would still encourage me to take part in more physical activity. Since I had already been taking part in physical activity for 3 times a week and for more than an hour most of the time, I could have tried to increase the intensity instead of time. This may have allowed me to better implement it in my life as it wouldn’t necessarily take up even more time, so even when I was more busy with schoolwork I would still be able to increase the amount of physical activity I was doing.

Questionnaire Results:

Beginning – 53
Middle – 63
End – 70

DES: Documentary Reflection

Migration – The Journey to Hong Kong from Nicole Chau on Vimeo.

To what extent has the film raised the target audience’s knowledge and understanding of how the theme/event influenced the central characters?

This film has been able to raise the target audience’s (CDNIS Upper School students) knowledge and understanding of how various conflicts have influenced three individuals’ lives. The conflicts discussed in the film include the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese Civil War and the Malayan Emergency, which partly stemmed from the Chinese Civil War. All three individuals interviewed in the film have been affected by one of these conflicts, forcing them to leave their home country and flee to Hong Kong.

Our survey results show that all the respondents understood that through the film we were trying to convey how conflicts have forced individuals to migrate, and the struggles and challenges they faced along the way. Most also understood, that in Hong Kong the individuals were able to live with more freedom and had more opportunities. Through the historical context provided in the film and the content of the interviews, this documentary has been able to successfully inform our target audience about the journey of migration to HK due to certain conflicts during the 1940s-60s.