TOK Entry #3 – Knowledge Questions (CRISPR)

Real Life Situation: CRISPR – gene editing technology (article)

First order claims:

  • New technology CRISPR can be used to alter disabilities and diseases in genetic mutations in human embryos.

What makes my TOK radar go off (Second Order):

  • The article chosen discusses the breakthroughs of medical sciences in a new technology, CRISPR. In this article, Rochman debunk the publics most common misconceptions as well as the ethical impacts of this new technology. Hence, when the uncovering of new scientific findings surface, will lead to doubts when revealed to the general public.

Second order claim:

  • Scientific discoveries can become misleading.
  • The uncovering of new scientific findings may lead to doubts when revealed to the general public.
  • Empirical evidence does not always determine the lengths of which a piece scientific technology can perform.

Knowledge Question:

  • To what extent do our possession of knowledge carry an ethical responsibility?
  • How do we determine does our knowledge of technological advancements have ethical responsibilities?

Sense Perception

Even though there are problems with our perceptual systems, this doesn’t mean that knowledge gained from our senses is completely unreliable.

This phrase can be interpreted quite differently, in order to analyse this, we must be able to dissect the phrase. For example, what stands out is the word “problems”, what does this truly mean in the sense of this context and the word itself? Is is up to how the reader interprets the word or is there a definite meaning for this problem. What would be a problem of our perceptual systems? Personally, I do agree with this statement due to the fact that our minds are deceivable and are not machines that can capture everything accurately.

`What I thought that this statement related to, is that it is related to Religion as one of the ways of knowledge, I think that with religion, some people say that there is a greater God or a greater being that is in control of our everyday actions and events. People have described the sensation of God as some sort of feeling or aura. This is definitely one of the sense perceptions as people that are atheists may not be able to feel the “presence” of God.



Service As Action 2017-18 Grade 10

How did you become more aware of your own strengths and areas for growth?

Given thought to this, I have considered that in the last 2-3 years, the awareness of my strengths and weaknesses as a learner, a friend, a student and as an overall balanced individual, have all been heightened, coming up to grab my attention. Realising this had made me a different person and had yearned me to focus on myself a lot more. This includes my ethics, my working habits, and my personality, as I think that it is significant to build myself up to be the person that I want to become in the future. Through service projects such as CAS weeks and school club initiated activities, such as reading to Hong Kong local school children in english, have been a factor in how I have become more aware of my skills. I think that in terms of my areas for growth, I will always need to develop and improve myself, and with maturity and the great opportunities that I will receive in the next 2 years of the IB programme, I am sure that I will be able to build on my areas of growth.


How did you undertake challenges that developed new skills?

One of the challenges that I faced this year was becoming dedicated and a part of the executive team of Habitat for Humanity in CDNIS. I have been able to establish new skills such as flexibility/adaptability in work environments, as well as strengthening my ability to work in a team. Working with students from different grade levels at our school at a work level and not a socialising one, have made be gain insight on learning the different jobs that each person of the team is responsible for and the hardwork that is put into every single job, I have been able to communicate with each of these students, hence has obtained the ability to be adaptable to situations, flexible to work for any given position.

How did you discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities?

Every year at CDNIS, we have an entire week dedicated to advocating for our schools clubs and organisations, we call it GIN week. The week includes various student initiated activities during lunch time that help bring in the school community on a larger scale to become more knowledgable on what these clubs do and what they fight for. I was able to evaluate and plan one of the activities held during this week as well as discussing with other executives of clubs at our school on how they will plan and structure their schoolwide activity.


How did you persevere in action?

One of the many ways I think that I have persevered in action as service, is during my global engagement. Being a part of the Habitat for Humanity community at CDNIS has broadened my opportunities to aid the housing situations in other countries, and what we do on these trips is that we help the labours and workers with their hardwork. I have been able to persevere even with intensive heat during the days we were on site. I find my motivation to continue even when faced with these challenges through my personal principles and morals, being able to help others and given this chance to aid other communities. This has always what has pushed me to work harder and it creates a much more mindful and positive motivation process rather than a negative one

How did you work collaboratively with others?

Throughout my journey of service projects and engaging with different communities outside of my own, I have been able to obtain and develop my skills as a collaborative worker within independent situations as well as working with individuals I am associated with. For example, during this years build trip to the Philippines during late November of 2017, I was able to collaboratively work with other students when working together such as digging holes, carrying cement bags, and shovelling. Another instance which I have developed my skills as a communicator and collaborator, I engaged in a 6-week curriculum called Lilypad, where they strive to teach Grade 1 students to improve their comprehension with mentors, as the mentors train their buddy’s English reading skills. Throughout this intensive reading programme, I have been able to collaboratively work with someone much younger than I am, learning how to adapt to their mannerisms and making sure that I am able to communicate to them.

How did you develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism, and intercultural understanding?

I think that through the few trips that I have gone on this year, to Yunnan, Philippines, and in Guangdong. I have been able to cultivate and broaden my perspective of how local and global engagement impacts the world how we develop. I think that international mindedness can only be developed and truly appreciated through personal involvement. I think that this year I have been able to be much more exposed to global engagement, being able to communicate and play with the local community and children when we went on the Habitat for Humanity build trip to the Pinamalayan, Philippines. Despite coming across an inevitable language barrier, I was still able to use other ways of communication to interact with the local community. Thus, also broadening my ability to speak more languages; intervolving with a Philippine community, learning their language Tagalog which is their native language.

How did you consider the ethical implications of your actions?

From a personal perspective, I have always had strong morals which have lead to the ethic principles I have today. Being able to live and thrive in a great community at school and be incredibly fortunate, I was always taught by my family to appreciate what I have, make the most out of  every situation, and to treat others with generosity and humbleness. Ever since a young age, I have only been reinforcing these morals that I have as I grow older. I want to be able to help other individual and communities who are not as fortunate as I am to be able to have basic human necessities such as good housing conditions. Something as simple as having a roof over our heads are often times disregarded, hence, I find participating in organisations such as Habitat for Humanity beneficial towards my community as well as it being a rewarding experience.

Sleep More

I have been using the alarm called “bedtime” on the Iphone which allows me to track my sleep schedule as well as reminding me when it is time to sleep to get a good 7 and a half hours of sleep. #sleep via Instagram

Passport Simulation Exercise

What was it like to be a national of this country?

When I was the passport holder during the simulation, I got assigned as an Iranian citizen, my first reaction was expecting to get detained from each country I would try to visit due to the political past of Iran as they are not exactly a reputable country. As I was going through the simulation/activity, even though I was expecting to get detained, getting detained from the majority of the countries I visited still wasn’t that great of a feeling as you get rejected from places you want to go.


How did the exercise make you feel as a passport holder, then as border control officer?

As a passport holder, I think that accessing countries based on your passport alone is quite difficult, and not just for my country of nationality but for others as well. I know this because as a border control officer, I had to check the visa qualifications for the other citizens from different countries, and quite a few would get detained from the country I was ‘stationed’ at. Being a border control officer definitely made me feel like I had more power over the people who were trying to enter the country as I had the power to detain them or let them in.


What did you take away from this exercise?

From this simulation activity, I think that there are many takeaways, such as the difficulty of being a national citizen of a certain country and how much that can open opportunities or close them for you. That people who are born into a nationality with a passport that can offer them many entrances for different countries can have an easier life when traveling, but for people who hold a passport that deny them of entry to certain countries will have a more difficult time getting let into these countries.  


Has this changed your idea of what it means to be ‘free’ at all?

Yes, it definitely has. After this simulation, I think that my perspective on being ‘free’ has changed and widened. I have realized how fortunate I am to hold 3 passports in which all have great access to the majority of the countries worldwide. Due to the fact that I do not face these difficulties of entering countries, I have never put much thought into how fortunate I am. Never considering what it was like for Iranian passport holders, Syrian passport holders, or Afghan passport holders, and many others.


Do you feel gratitude for your passport?

I definitely feel much more gratitude and appreciation for my passports. As I am a holder of the Canadian, Hong Kong, and Taiwan passports, I now feel how lucky I am to have these passports and be given the access and opportunity to access most countries that I want to visit.