Chap 3 Course Companion Action/Study Guide

Knowledge and the Search for Truth

Pg. 90:

 A. Take a book you’ve read recently (could even be a text for one of your classes) and

___answer the 4 questions on this page.

a. Out of all the possible topics or ideas regarding knowledge, what have the authors selected to give you?

b. Out of those topics and ideas treated, what have they emphasized, and how?

c. What kind of language have they used, and what emotions or values do you identify in the word choice? What images accompany the text, and how are they selected and used?

d. What is the context in which the book was written – by whom, for what purpose…?

As you post to your blog, try to

___add specific words from the book to support your answer for #3, and perhaps at least

___1 example of a photograph, diagram, or drawing (you can even take a photo with your phone to post as evidence)


_____Read the green box from Yeshey of Bhutan (don’t step on a book!). _____Then read about and watch Thomas Pettit, a Danish philosopher, discuss the Gutenberg Parenthesis and his view of books (tear one up!).

_____Answer: What are your thoughts about the sanctity of books and how did you arrive to your decision?

_____Answer: Do books really “hold learning”?

_____Answer: How would you rate where you get knowledge – media (various), books, teachers, family, friends, celebrities, etc.? (draw a continuum or explain)

Pg. 91: Classifying Knowledge


_____Check out the 1- 20 list: we will take some time in class do this with table groups and discuss…we will also use the following PDF for additional knowledge statements:

Kinds of Knowledge Excercise

_____Which ways of knowing (sense perception, language, emotion, reasoning, intuition, faith, memory, and imagination) are most relevant to each of these categories: Shared Knowledge, Personal Knowledge, Experiential Knowledge, Procedural Knowledge, Knowledge Claims (some overlap)  – try to provide a specific example for as many as you like after we’ve done the others in the list.

___ * you may come up with other categories as well! #tokkrew11 from Mulgrave did a similar activity and they included “prediction” , “feeling”, and “ability” for example. Here are some pics:

whole board step 1






*why do other languages have several different words for “to know”? What are the constraints of English?

connaitre wissen lernen_sie_uns_kennen estas-ahi savoir conocer

Pg. 92-3: Types of Knowledge


_____Check out Mohammed Youssef’s explanation of the 5 Stages of Knowledge / Wisdom in Arabic.

_____Provide a real life example of each, as it applies to your life.


_____Make your own list of an experiential knowledge (“knowing through direct experience”) you have,

_____procedural knowledge (skills; “knowing how”),

_____and a knowledge claim (“knowing that”- tied to language)

_____What type is the easiest to learn? What type tends to stick the longest?


_____READ THIS ARTICLE outlining the different theories of learning and how Twitter could be used for each.

_____Answer: Which theory do you think best applies to our IB program? Which theory do you find most helpful as a style of learning?

Below is a scene from Good Will Hunting that touches on experiential knowledge versus rational knowledge…beware…some adult language.

Pg. 94-7: IB DP Subject Activity


_____Check out the green chart about Language A and Lit.

_____Choose 1 other of your IB DP subjects (not Lang A) and also CAS…make a similar chart. Then brainstorm with your group (maybe they have the same subjects!)…we’ll do a little shifting around and move into different groups to share more ideas…after we can analyze to see if the subjects are balanced or not. WE WILL DO THIS IN CLASS

_____read the CAS experience of Emily on pg. 95 to understand how CAS is a certain kind of knowledge acquisition. Then click here for another real-life CAS experience video.

H. The 3 kinds of knowledge are stored differently in the brain. Remember how Mr. Clive Wearing could still play the piano?

_____Find out the differences between each of the types of memory. Then Curate something on one of the following types of memory OR draw an illustration symbolizing one or the differences between them (you can take a photo if you do a hand-drawing and post to blog):

_____procedural memory,

_____working memory,

_____long-term memory,

_____declarative memory,

_____episodic memory.

Here’s a cool explanation of “earworms” by neurologist Oliver Sacks, and then his discussion of the Power of Music and the Power of Doing…that is, procedural memory.


_____check out the green section on pg.100 to see what other students responded to the question: “Does it matter of what we believe in is true?

Pg. 100-103: TESTS for Knowledge Claims

 What are the strengths and weaknesses of the following tests for truth? Discuss the questions in each section with a partner and be prepared to sum it up for the class

 I. Identify if these tests are commonly used in the IB DP subjects you are studying now.

_____Coherence – based on other claims you believe – (do they agree?)

_____Correspondence – must match the evidence – (go and check it out!)

 _____Pragmatic – must be able to be applied effectively in practice (does it work?)

_____be sure to understand why, in TOK, we abandon the catch-all “true-for-me” relativism and think in terms of “true-for-all” (see pg. 103)


A Physicist’s Guide to the existence of Santa Claus


K. Pg. 104-5: 3 Truths and a Lie game and 1-9 “Good Reasons for Belief” (in class)

_____What is the difference between being sincere and being right? What is the difference between making a false statement and lying?

L. In class Activity: Pg. 105-6: Kinds of Claims

_____ Truth tests #1-9. In class in groups we’ll discuss #1-9 claims and see what reasons (justifications) we can give for believing or not believing in them.

After reading about rational, observational, metaphysical, and value judgments, we will play the card game on pg. 106. Each table will get four cards and think of examples for each.

M. Pg. 108-9: Justification Types

After reading about reliable sources (experts and general consensus), memories, emotions, intuition, faith, and revelation, 

_____describe what role these might play in the Areas of Knowledge (your subjects)…for example, how might emotion affect and artist or intuition affect a scientist?

_____Here’s an awesome TED TALK which discusses the intuitiveness of the arts and sciences.

N. Pg. 110-111: Intensity of Belief

_____Draw or diagram something that represents the relationship between belief, truth, knowledge, and justification. (we might do in class)

O.  Pg. 114: Do I Believe?

_____After reading about the 3 “s’s”: SOURCE, STATEMENTS, and SELFchoose something you’ve learned recently and evaluate it based on these, using specific examples.


Liar Liar Cheat Cheat

Liar Card Game- Questions

The point of this exercise was to examine the nature, extent, acceptability of various kinds of deception. 


Answer the following questions on your blog:

1. Which cards did your group find easiest to place? Which did you find most difficult?

2. How similar or different was your order from that of other groups? Were there any surprises?

3. Were there cases where you’d need more information about the context before placing it?

4. How many of these forms of deception have you engaged in – be honest :) ?

5. How widespread do you think deception is in the population at large?

6. How do you define a “lie” – which of these cards would you classify as “not a lie” and why?

7. Under what circumstances, if any, is it acceptable to mislead or deceive other people? Should we tell the truth at any cost, or are other things, such as happiness, more important?

– adapted from Richard van de Lagemaat

Pam Myer at TED : How to Spot a Liar

Dan Ariely at TED: Why We Think It’s OK to Cheat (Sometimes)

The Psychology of Cheating (recent New Yorker article)

Cheating: Collaboration? and Part II and Part III

Harvard University Cheating Scandal

More Thoughts on Harvard Cheating Incident (from student perspective)

NY TIMES: Cheating Epidemic (or is it a survival skill?) – Cheating in 21st c. Ed

Cheating (in school) FACT sheet


To what extent does technology (cell phones, the Internet, etc.) foster cheating? Do our assessments and expectations (standardized tests, multiple-choice exams, incentives or punishment for performance, increased competition, etc.) motivate students AND teachers to cheat? Has society embraced cheating (“cheats” in gaming, success equated with lying, double-talk, and deception)? Finally, what are the different perspectives involved? Should our notions of what is “cheating” be questioned? How could cheating in school be discouraged and even combatted? What are YOUR ideas?

Cheating Quiz:

Please take this quiz as an opener



SAMPLE VLOGS from class of 2014