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Consider a claim in history such as: “Napoleon was a great leader”.
Why would such a claim not be considered ‘scientific’?
There are many reasons why this claim would not be considered as scientific. First of all, it already mentions that the claim is from History, which is a human science, not a natural science. As it is part of human science, it could be considered as “scientific”, but since the topic is named “Introduction to the Natural Sciences”, I would assume the definition of “scientific” would only refer to the natural sciences. Even without the History signature, it refers to Napoleon, a human. Of course, to differentiate between natural sciences and human sciences in terms of people, natural sciences can refer to biology and the specific functions inside one individual. Human sciences refer to the interactions between different people and calling him a leader would refer to his leadership skills with other people.
Second of all, this claim is entirely subjective. There are so many different perspectives to this claim, as many different people would view him as a leader, and many people would not. Being “scientific” refers to capturing accurate data or ensuring a valid theory. It is true that science may not always have true statements, but they have the evidence to back up any theories or explanations, while human sciences cannot provide any evidence to point to the fact that Napoleon was a great leader. Therefore, Scientific claims must be able to have substantial evidence and an objective viewpoint, while this claim does not have the ability to have substantial evidence and has a subjective viewpoint, which makes it not scientific.
Starting with a first order (real life) claim from one of your DP classes, explain what second order (TOK) claims it suggests.
First Order Claim – To understand the factors for why Hong Kong housing is so expensive, the consultation of economic experts is required to understand.
Second Order Claims – Key Ideas in the Human Sciences can only be interpreted by people familiar with the topic.
-Different perceptions of a topic are vital to gaining a deeper of understanding of the topic.
First Order Claim – To create an app relating to elementary maths, the developer must go through the Design Process of Inquiring, Designing, Creating and Evaluating.
Second Order Claims- Innovation or creation of a new idea requires the creators to take all necessary steps to complete them.
-Any idea or innovation must go through a series of steps to ensure that it is completed to its full extent.
Articulate the questions that might be interesting/useful to explore in response to the TOK level claims.
-What are the criteria to decide whether a person is familiar with a topic?
-Would different perceptions just confuse the person or would they actually gain a deeper understanding?
-What would happen if the necessary steps were not taken?
-How can we measure if an idea or innovation has been completed to its full extent?
Explain how exploring the TOK question is relevant/useful to better understanding or dealing with the real-life claim.
The TOK questions that I have created ensure the validity of the TOK claims that I have created. There can also be different perceptions to a claim, and with the TOK questions, I have ensured that the TOK claim that I have created is valid. The TOK claims are much broader claims than the real-life claims which help make me understand the real-life claim much more. Since it focuses on a broader spectrum, it can help me understand concepts that pertain to the real-life claim and concepts that don’t relate to the real-life claim but relate to the TOK claim. Essentially, TOK questions ensure the validity of the TOK claims and the TOK claims help people understand a deeper meaning of life, which also helps people to understand the real-life claim that is presented also.
“Do the problems of language always limit the production of knowledge?”
Consider knowledge questions BEFORE you plan
In my opinion, Language does limit the production of knowledge to a very small extent. There are many different ways to interpret knowledge, and each has its own connotation. For example, Scientists view nature according to Biology and Ecology methods, while Artists take in the depth and complexity of the environment around them. Having these two very different mindsets makes it much more difficult to understand the other mindset. Of course, people can have both these 2 mindsets and even more, but one is always greater than ever, as you can only devote your life and career to one mindset. These 2 different mindsets also make it difficult to understand people with the other mindset. For example, Liberal Arts’ students would find it more difficult to relate to a Science student, making it difficult to understand each other, which limits the production of knowledge of each other (human knowledge). However, it can be argued that this barrier in knowledge can strengthen the emotional capacity of a relationship, which means that in this specific example, the benefit of this barrier would be the ability to strengthen one’s Emotion, as the only way you can communicate knowledge to each other would be with Emotion.
Of course, the production of knowledge also may not require language. This can be done through experiences and other Ways of Knowing. For example, using sense perception to feel all the objects around you help to gain more knowledge. If you touch the wall, you can feel that the wall has a certain hardness. Also with Faith, by just believing something, you don’t have to use knowledge but can understand the feeling of having Faith in a certain religion or idea. Some AOKs can also be the same universally, such as Mathematics and Science. Sure, they could be written in different languages, but the key idea of these AOKs and if they were translated would be the same thing. Everyone views Mathematics and Science the same way, as they don’t use that much abstract logic.
There are many ways that Language can or cannot limit the production of knowledge. In the “can” way, Language limits the production of knowledge by not allowing people to understand each other mindsets and not understand how others view the world. However, the production of knowledge may not even require language in the first place, as you can use the other Ways of Knowing such as Faith and Sense Perception to gain more knowledge about the world around you. Some AOKs can also be taught the same universally, leaving no language barrier to limit the pursuit of knowledge.
There are many WOKs that can assist in the production of knowledge of AOKs, but I feel that the most significant one is Imagination and Art. The production of knowledge in the Arts is creating artwork, as that artwork would express the knowledge that has been thought into the piece. Art is all about creativity, and creativity comes from the imagination. Essentially, art can only be made from the imagination. People can say that Art can also come from emotion, which is true, but the emotion would be built into the imagination to form the artwork. However, other people might say that art can not from imagination, but a memory. Work can be built from memory, but it would not be considered artwork as there would be no creative element involved. It would simply be mimicking artwork.
WOKs can be fallible at times, but if they are assisted with the right AOK, they can help guard against their weaknesses. One major WOK that is fallible is Memory. It is difficult to rely on memory, as it is not always right. However, History, the AOK, can help validify the memory. History does not only mean ancient history but can include recent history as well. Recreating the history of the memory can help make sure that the memory is true or false, and can be used as evidence that it was indeed correct or incorrect. Fallibility can also occur with Intuition. Someone’s gut feeling may not always be the right answer, so it needs evidence to back it up. The type of evidence differs with the type of Intuition. Usually, with Intuition, natural sciences provide the evidence necessary to validify the argument. Natural sciences provide the reasoning and the data for the argument, to provide if it was true or not.
What do you think TOK is, and why does the IB make you take it?
I feel that TOK will be a very abstract concept that focuses on many different ways of knowledge and how we understand it. It will focus on how we gain knowledge and offers insight into how we know what we know, and where all our thinking is coming from. I think that TOK is essentially Philosophy which is the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. Especially since TOK is “Theory of Knowledge”, it will focus on the knowledge part of philosophy, but delving a little bit into the nature of our reality and existence. I believe that a lot of the content that we will learn will come from our knowledge and understanding when we first born and did not have any knowledge, and how we were able to connect to our emotions and feelings without having the knowledge to explain them.
The IB makes us take TOK as it is an essential part of our lives. Learning about philosophy should be essential at one point in our lives, so the IB prepares us by learning TOK at this point, instead of at a younger age, where we would not understand the course material, or at an older age, where we could build a foundation from TOK, instead of learning it at that point. The nature of our knowledge, existence, and reality is also something that everyone is curious about, which is why everyone has to take it. TOK can also help in many career paths, like therapy or another career in the human sciences, and is also the foundation for deeper thinking and learning which can help in many other IB subjects.
Kushaan Jain 924 Pleasant Avenue, Hong Kong
Seven Oaks Admissions Officer
Dear Mr. Atherton:
My name is Kushaan Jain and I am currently a student in Grade 10. I want to move from Hong Kong to the UK just to go to the Seven Oaks High school. I read about your school in a magazine named the “Top Schools in UK”, and looking at the statistics and aspects of the school made me immediately want to go there.
Becoming a student at Seven Oaks can be challenging, but succeeding at Seven Oaks will be an even greater challenge for me. I need to work on completing all my homework to keep up with my peers, and I need to study hard for tests and assignments. Academics are not enough, so I also need to be locally active in the community, by participating in clubs, events and sports. I believe that I am ready for this role given my past experiences. I have participated for clubs before and I have shown my school spirit by wearing themed costumes to school. My academics are also excellent as well, as I spent extra time and effort on working to complete homework and assignments at my old school.
I have many achievements to show for what I am saying. One of my greatest accomplishments was completing math competitions at my math school in Richmond Hill, Ontario. I spent extra time, on top of my school work, for working to achieve a high score in math competitions. My hard work on preparing for these competitions showed off in my paper. Another great experience I had was campaigning for my dad’s friend who was running for school trustee in Markham, Ontario. I learned about how difficult it was to stay ahead of your competition, and the amount of work it would take to actually win in office.
I hope this letter has made a positive impact on your decision whether I can become a student at your school. I am looking forward to hearing your response to my work, and that if you believe that I am ready to become a student at Seven Oaks, I will be ready to come in for an interview. Just email me at email@example.com or call me at 9045 6689.
Kushaan Jain 924 Pleasant Avenue, Hong Kong
To become a sophisticated and more educated Grade 11 student at the Seven Oaks School
Studied for ten years at Thornhill Woods Public School in Thornhill, Ontario, Canada for Kindergarten (Junior and Senior) and Grades 1 to 8. I engaged in laboratory experiments and completed intensive athletic events and academic engagement.
Studied for one year at St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic High School in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada for Grade 9. I completed extensive technological work, in the Digital Photography club and the difficult Business course that was offered. I completed Academic Math at this school and finished off with a 95.
Studied for one year at the Canadian International School of Hong Kong in Hong Kong for Grade 10. I started studying there in 2017. I participated in HL Ib Math, where I learned Grade 11 topics. I also spoke at a CDNIS Talks in front of the entire Upper School bringing awareness to recycling problems at our school and showcasing a creative, recycling solution known as the RecycleBot.
Learned and practiced the art of Piano at a intensive music school. Gained show experience by performing difficult music on stage in front of many people.
Gained experience in Politics by campaigning for a politician running for office. I spent an extensive and difficult time trying to deliver an effective marketing campaign and to receive people’s attention and gained a perspective on the difficulties Politicians face when they are trying to run for office.
Participated and organized for Tri-Fun, a child triathlon organisation by creating speeches and team-building activities to encourage children to pursue triathlons in the future.
Spent 2017 training to become a black belt. Gained plenty of athletic experience in this, and ended up becoming a first-degree black belt at the end of December 2017. I gained many skills in endurance and strength, as I had to complete 75 pushups and situps in 3 minutes.
Gained a lot of interest and skills in Mathematics by going to the Spirit of Math school in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada and participating in multiple math contests. I also found my passion in Math by experiencing this kind of difficult math, instead of the math I was exposed to at school.
How did you become more aware of your own strengths and areas for growth?
|In Grade 7, I went to a science summer camp and learned about my different strengths and skills in that field, and what my weaknesses in that subject group are. I also assisted kids with work. Doing this work allowed me to evaluate my skills in science and see if I was prepared to become a doctor or engineer according to my strengths and weaknesses in science.|
How did you undertake challenges that developed new skills?
|In Grade 8, I joined a summer camp where we did many different sports, arts and intelligent activities that helped me locate what my strengths are in that subject group. I also helped with kids. I took risks with this new type of activities and sports that I was not familiar with and built a foundation of these skills. I learned much more team-building skills and management skills that would help me in the future.|
How did you discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities?
|In Grade 9, in the summer, I volunteered at a triathlon, helping kids with the different fields (biking, running and swimming). I encouraged them and planned many cheers and speeches to encourage them. I needed to figure out a way to get kids to engage in this triathlon and to persevere and to not give up. I planned with my volunteer group, discussed possible options and came up with a solution on how to cheer kids on.|
(picture of me volunteering by cheering kids on in the swimming portion of the triathlon)
How did you persevere in action?
In Grade 10, I completed a CDNIS Talks in front of the entire school. This CDNIS Talks was about displaying a recycling solution known as the RecycleBot that would advocate and encourage recycling, and increase its convenience. I displayed this recycling initiative to increase recycling in our school, and we listed the long-term consequences including an increase of climate change and global warming. I have worked on the project for a long period of time, and I intend to work on it for the coming months as well.
(picture of me giving the CDNIS Talks)
|In Grade 7, I campaigned for my father’s friend who was running for a school trustee. I worked along with his kids and my brother to go to different houses and campaign for him. I gained a lot of collaborative skills from this by working with the other kids to deliver a successful marketing campaign. I also had to work with them on splitting up the number of houses to go to, and the speech and marketing material we had to provide to people.|
How did you develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism, and intercultural understanding?
|In Grade 10, I joined the RESPECT club. In the RESPECT club, we teach and interact with refugee children. Through this club, I have learned more about the refugee situation in Hong Kong and gained more information about their different cultures in their original countries, like the Philippines.|
(picture of me volunteering at the RESPECT Club)
How did you consider the ethical implications of your actions?
In Grade 10, I went to Fujian, China where I helped with mud-bricking activities and house construction. We spent a couple of hours on working to complete this house and completed tiring and strenuous work. We had to pick up materials from the river and the ground and carry these heavy materials over long distances, where we then worked on fixing a house. I had to persevere, even though I was tired and in pain. Doing all this helped save an old man’s home which was going to be taken over by the Government. His house was in the family for generations, and we were able to preserve the house and allowing him to continue living where he loves.
(picture of me giving speech about Tulous in Fujian, China)