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TOK Tuesdays

Musical Illusions

To what extent is the popularity of a procedure related to its validity?

In the TOK Clip Applying Illusions, UC San Diego psychologist of music Diana Deutsch describes how the celebrated Octave Illusion she discovered has the potential to be directly applied to the world of clinical medicine by giving an accurate, non-invasive indicator of cerebral dominance as opposed to, for instance, the so-called Wada test.

The Wada test is sometimes given to patients who have epilepsy and need to undergo surgery to cope with this condition. Ahead of surgery it is necessary to figure out which is the dominant hemisphere of this patient’s brain to make sure that no permanent damage to the speech of the patient is caused by this surgery.

Prof. Diana Deutsch is a pioneer of harnessing computer-generated tones to carry out detailed aural experiments on music, memory, language and cognition. She uncovered a vast spectrum of musical illusions that are now standard in the scientific literature, including the Octave Illusion, the Scale Illusion, the Chromatic Illusion, the Glissando Illusion and many more.

Below is a screen shot of what the resource page for this Ideas Roadshow TOK clip looks like. The new PDF that comes with this clip highlights how this resource has been updated to be fully aligned with the new TOK curriculum: the related AOK and Optional Theme (Knowledge & Technology in this case), how it directly connects to the new Knowledge Framework – Scope, Perspectives, Methods and Tools and Ethics – in the form of a Knowledge Question, three additional sample Knowledge Questions, related IA prompts for the TOK exhibition and citing suggestions for the TOK exhibition and essay.

If your school does not have an institutional subscription to Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP Portal you can now sign up for an individual teacher or student subscription. Annual individual subscriptions cost only $99 and provide unlimited access to all resources that are part Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP Portal.

All Ideas Roadshow’s TOK resources are digital – they can be seamlessly used for online or in-class teaching without the need to change your lesson plans! 

TOK Tuesdays

A Supreme Example

Under what circumstances can modifying our assumptions of the social world result in more valid models of human behaviour?

In Ideas Roadshow’s TOK clip called A Supreme Example, Tufts University philosopher Brian Epstein describes how many people’s perspectives on the social world are prejudiced by a hidden assumption that he takes issue with and uses the example of The Supreme Court to illustrate his point.

“…. So if you look at the example of the nine people on the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court is a lot more than those nine people. There’s a way of doing a kind of thought experiment in philosophy where you try to understand, ‘Does this object just consist of these parts?‘. What you do is, you take those parts and you move them to a remote environment and you see if that object still exists or still behaves in the same way. It’s obvious – if you take those nine people and you move them somewhere where there’s not this enormous United States infrastructure, then they’re powerless. The power of the Supreme Court: the fact that they’re making decisions, even the actions of the Supreme Court, for instance striking down a law, voting in a certain way, that consists of a lot more than just those nine people.”

Below is what the resource page for A Supreme Example looks like on Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP Portal. As you can see, this video resource comes with a detailed PDF which highlights the related AOK, connections with the new Knowledge Framework – scope, perspectives, methods and tools, ethics – related IA prompts, three Knowledge Questions that are directly relevant to this clip, citing references, TOK overlaps with other DP subjects, and more:

If your school does not have an institutional subscription to Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP Portal you can now sign up for an individual teacher or student subscription. Annual individual subscriptions cost only $99 and provide unlimited access to all resources that are part Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP Portal.

All Ideas Roadshow’s TOK resources are digital – they can be seamlessly used for online or in-class teaching without the need to change your lesson plans! 

TOK Tuesdays

Knowledge and Religion

To what extent can we be certain that we understand a foreign religious tradition if we haven’t directly experienced it?

Today’s TOK Tuesdays topic comes from our new TOK Sampler, Knowledge and Religion, to give teachers a tangible sense of how our resources can directly assist with the new optional TOK themes starting this fall, while providing stimulating classroom material that they can use straight away while transitioning to the new course.  The full TOK Sampler which is part of Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP Portal includes relevant details for both the ‘old’ and new TOK curriculum.

In the following excerpt from this TOK Sampler, historian of religion Nile Green, UCLA, describes the profound disconnect he experienced between what he had read about Sufism and what he personally encountered when he began to visit Sufi shrines.  

Below is a screenshot of what the resource page for this TOK Sampler looks like on Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP Portal. All TOK Samplers feature short clips featuring a range of experts across different disciplines. At the start of each clip the relevant AOK/WOKs (“old” curriculum) and the related AOKs/Optional Themes for the new TOK curriculum are highlighted. At an opportune moment during the clip a Knowledge Question is shown to provide material for discussion and reflection.

If your school does not have an institutional subscription to Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP Portal you can now sign up for an individual teacher or student subscription. Annual individual subscriptions cost only $99 and provide unlimited access to all resources that are part Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP Portal.

All Ideas Roadshow’s TOK resources are digital – they can be seamlessly used for online or in-class teaching without the need to change your lesson plans! 

Connecting Thursdays

A Body of Information

How does our understanding of information impact our knowledge about the world?

In today’s clip from Ideas Roadshow’s TOK Connections Overview Video for Computer Science, University of Oxford and National University of Singapore quantum computer pioneer Prof. Artur Ekert highlights how our new-found appreciation of the inherent physical nature of information has profoundly changed our understanding of what computers are and what they are actually doing.

(Excerpt from TOK Connections Overview Video for Computer Science)

This clip called The Physics of Information is a real-world example of TOK-related thinking in Computer Science which you can use to explicitly integrate TOK into your Computer Science lessons.  Prof. Ekert highlights how appreciating the physical essence of information has influenced our concepts of algorithms, computation and even reality. If your school has access to Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP Portal, make sure to also view the TOK clip called Applied Philosophy and chapters 6-9 of long-format video and enhanced eBook called Cryptoreality, Part. 1.

Interested in learning more about Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP resources to explicitly integrate TOK across the DP curriculum?

Make sure to watch this informational video on our website – here – which will show you how Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP Portal offers subject teachers a wide range of unique TOK integration materials across 21 DP subjects to incorporate TOK explicitly and easily into their lesson planning.

In addition, you can find details about how Ideas Roadshow’s extensive TOK resources have been adjusted to be fully in line with the new TOK Curriculum, enabling teachers to quickly and easily invoke a wide range of concrete teaching strategies for the core theme, the five optional themes and the five newly streamlined AOKs, while providing a wealth of additional student support for both the TOK essay and the new TOK exhibition.

TOK Tuesdays

Knowledge and Technology

Under what circumstances can technology be used to provide evidence for NS theories?

Today’s TOK Tuesdays topic comes from our new TOK Sampler called Knowledge & Technology to give teachers a tangible sense of how our TOK resources can directly assist with the optional themes that are part of the new TOK syllabus, while providing stimulating material for in-class use or for online teaching that they can use straight away while transitioning to the new course. 

In the following clip from this innovative TOK video resource neuroscientist Jennifer Groh, Duke University, describes how the technological development of cochlear implants had a direct bearing on validating a range of scientific claims regarding the degree, relevance and general pervasiveness of the phenomenon of neuroplasticity. 

(Excerpt from Knowledge & Technology)

If your school does not have an institutional subscription to Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP Portal you can now sign up for an individual teacher or student subscription. Annual individual subscriptions cost only $99 and provide unlimited access to all resources that are part Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP Portal.

Extending Wednesdays

ADHD medication on non-ADHD subjects

In today’s Extending Wednesday clip, UC Berkeley clinical psychologist Stephen Hinshaw discusses the psychological research on studies of the effects of ADHD medication on non-ADHD students, relating how, while the level of confidence of the students participating in the study typically drastically increased, their actual results told a rather different story. 

(Excerpt from Extending Ideas In Psychology)

This clip is an excerpt from Ideas Roadshow’s Extending Ideas Video in Psychology.  There are 7 different Extending Ideas Videos that are part of the extensive collection of authoritative expert resources for the extended essay that are part of Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP Portal. Each video features five specific topics highlighted by Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP resources for a possible extended essay or internal assessment in that subject area.  Meanwhile, the comprehensive Ideas Roadshow Extended Essay Guide for Students highlights an additional 5 possible extended essay ideas for each of the 21 different DP subjects we cover.

Our IB-specific database also offers reliable expert resources in different formats – clips, compilation videos highlighting ideas from different perspectives, long-format videos plus accompanying, enhanced eBooks with lots of additional academic resources and more to construct an excellent essay from start to finish!

We offer all IB schools affected by Covid-19 free access for 1 month to Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP Portal, an IB-specific database which includes an extensive collection of authoritative, digital resources for EE, TOK, TOK integration across the DP curriculum and 21 DP subjects. Please visit our website, HERE, for further details.

TOK Tuesdays

Knowledge and Politics

Under what circumstances can observation of political behaviour invalidate political models?

Today’s TOK Tuesdays topic comes from Ideas Roadshow’s new TOK Sampler, Knowledge & Politics, to give teachers a tangible sense of how Ideas Roadshow’s TOK resources can directly assist with the new optional TOK themes starting this fall, while providing stimulating classroom material that they can use straight away while transitioning to the new course.  All references to WOKs and non-streamlined AOKs will be dropped. 

In the following clip from this Knowledge & Politics TOK Sampler, philosopher Brian Epstein, Tuft University, examines the motivations behind why political officials act in the way that they do, pointing out that the standard explanation assumes a framework which is actually quite at odds from what we observe and that our political models would likely be far more accurate if we paid more attention to their characters and the mechanics of the process that lead to people of that character being chosen as political leaders to begin with. 

(Excerpt from Ideas Roadshow’s TOK Sampler Knowledge & Politics)

UPDATE: Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP Portal includes an extensive collection of TOK video and (digital) print resources for both teachers and students. The materials have been fully aligned with the new TOK curriculum while offering support for the ‘old’ curriculum. All resources, including the TOK Lesson Planner, highlight connections with the new core theme, the knowledge framework, optional themes, areas of knowledge, IA prompts, sample knowledge questions and citation details.”

Register now for a free New TOK Webinar by clicking on the image below.

TOK Tuesdays

Knowledge and Language

To what extent is our use of language influenced by the nature of our bodies?

Today’s TOK Tuesdays topic comes from Ideas Roadshow’s new TOK Sampler, Knowledge & Language, to give teachers a tangible sense of how Ideas Roadshow’s TOK resources can directly assist with the new optional themes starting this fall, while providing stimulating classroom material that they can use straight away while transitioning to the new course. 

In the following clip from this Knowledge & Language TOK Sampler, linguist and sign-language expert Carol Padden describes the fascinating notion of “embodiment” – how our language and accompanying notions of meaning are significantly influenced by the physical means by which we interact with the world around us, highlighting sign language as one where possibilities for embodiment are naturally greater than most. 

(Excerpt from TOK Sampler Knowledge & Language)

UPDATE: Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP Portal includes an extensive collection of TOK video and (digital) print resources which have been fully aligned with the new TOK curriculum while offering support for the ‘old’ curriculum. All resources, including the TOK Lesson Planner, highlight connections with the new core theme, the knowledge framework, optional themes, areas of knowledge, IA prompts, sample knowledge questions and citation details.

Did you register yet for a free New TOK Webinar? For further details and to register, click HERE.

Connecting Thursdays

Narrowing Differences

To what extent can we objectively measure our moral beliefs?

Emory University primatologist Frans de Waal is a highly established researcher on the behaviour of chimpanzees and bonobos, but most people know him as a prolific award-winning popularizer of his research, with over 35 years of bestselling books beginning with Chimpanzee Politics in the early 1980s.

The fact that he has so consistently documented his thoughts for both a specialized and popular audience made him, I thought, the perfect test case to measure how, and why, our beliefs change. Sure enough, when I asked him how his opinions on animal morality have evolved throughout the course of his research career he was able to respond straight away.

(Excerpt from Testing Morality featuring Prof. Frans de Waal)

The “ultimatum game” that Prof. de Waal mentions in this clip is explained in detail in the video Testing Morality.  Essentially, he applies and extends the famous behavioural test pioneered by economists to measure people’s sense of fairness to other primates, en route illustrating not just that chimpanzees have a similar sense of fairness to humans, but – equally intriguingly – that moral understanding, at times at least, can be derived from the same objective experimental process that gives rise to so much of our natural and human science knowledge.  

We offer all schools affected by Covid-19 free access for 1 month to Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP Portal, an extensive IB-specific database of authoritative digital resources for EE/IAs, TOK, TOK integration across the DP curriculum and curriculum-aligned resources for 21 DP subjects. Please visit our website, HERE, for further details.


TOK Tuesdays

Knowledge and Indigenous Societies

Under what circumstances can we be certain that a community shares our value system?

Today’s TOK Tuesday topic comes from Ideas Roadshow’s new TOK Sampler called Knowledge & Indigenous Societies to give teachers a tangible sense of how the TOK resources that are part of Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP Portal can directly assist with the new optional themes starting this fall, while providing stimulating classroom material that they can use straight away while transitioning to the new course.  All references to WOKs and non-streamlined AOKs will be dropped as of this spring. 

In one of the clips that is part of the Knowledge & Indigenous Societies TOK Sampler, social psychologist Carol Dweck describes how the degree of applicability of her groundbreaking mindset work was strongly influenced by the prevailing community values, describing how the story had to change significantly to be accepted by an American Aboriginal community to explicitly highlight a resonance with their cultural values.