Big Question 7

7.1 – Introduction to BQ7

Learning Objectives

I can explain how we’ll explore BQ7
Key Ideas + Thinkers

The concepts of “change” and “development”
The origin of great ideas
Relating the idea of change to the different AOKs

1) “How and why does knowledge develop over time?”

What are the key words and ideas in the big question
How was your knowledge of the world developed over time – and why?

2) Read the article on where creativity comes from.

Summarise, and try to think of any objections to the points offered.
In what ways does this challenge the idea of ‘genius’
How does this link to BQ4 – Knower/s?

3) Putting the BQ in an AOK context

Choose any of the WOKs/AOKs. Try to choose one that you haven’t done before in one of our introduction lessons.
Think of how and why knowledge has developed over time. Provide plenty of examples to support your points.
In which AOK do you think knowledge seems to change the most over time? In which one does it change the least?

4) Exit Ticket

Find a quote about “new ideas” that you think accurately reflects the way in which knowledge in general develops over time. Explain why you chose this.
7.2 – The Holy Palmers Kiss

Learning Objectives

I can explain how language changes over time, and provide examples to support my points
Key Ideas + Thinkers

Romeo and Juliet, and Shakespeare’s use of language
Word’s of the year
Denotation, connotation, and context of words

1) If we travelled back 500 years in time, how easy would it be to communicate with the people around us?

2) Rank the extent to which you understand the extract from Romeo and Juliet (1 = you can’t understand the sense of what’s going on; 5 = you understand everything, and get the jokes, the play on words, the references, etc.)

3) What does this reveal about the way language changes?

4) Read this article about 10 words whose meanings have changed over time. Which one most surprises you?

5) What words can you think of from your own knowledge whose meaning have changed over time? Try to think of three or four extra examples.

6) Formulate a hypothesis about the meaning of words change over time.

7) Check out the links to the Collins and Oxford other dictionaries’ words of the year. Which one do you think most sums up society in 2019, and why?

8) Add to your hypothesis about why the meaning of words change over time.

9) Three of the central elements that affect the way we understand a word are:

The denotation of the word. This is its literal meaning
The connotation of the word. This is a feeling, hint, suggestion, and or impression that the word has in addition to its literal meaning
The context in which the word is used. Using a word in new contexts can alter the way we understand a word
Add these three concepts to your hypothesis

10) Exit Ticket

Does the fact that the meaning of words changes over time make language less reliable as a way of knowing?
7.3 – Prescription vs Description

Learning Objective

I can evaluate the extent to which language is ”living”
Key Ideas + Thinkers

The “control” of language – Singlish, Americanism, etc.
Kory Stamper on Prescriptivism and Descriptivism
Erin Mckean on the construction of new words
Douglas Adams on language-use

1) Who or what is “in charge” of language? How do they “control” language?

2) Which language does your article feature as being “under attack” and how?

3) What does this reveal about how some people view:a) the relationship between culture and language:b) the nature of language in terms of change and stability?

4) Overall, do you think that language needs “protecting”?

5) Explain what Kory Stamper means when she refers to English (and language in general) as being like a “river”

Include “descriptivism” and “prescriptivism” in your answer
6) What is Erin Mckean’s definition of language?

7) Make up some new words, using Mckean’s different methods. Include a definition for your words

8) Exit Ticket

“Language is a living thing. We can feel it changing. Parts of it became old: they dropped off and were forgotten. New places bud out, spread into leaves, and become big branches, proliferating.” Gilbert Highet
Do you agree with Gilbert Highet? Justify your answer, supporting it with examples.

7.5 – False Starts and Wrong Turns

Learning Objectives

I can explain how new scientific knowledge is created
Key Ideas + Thinkers

Ways of knowing and the creation of new knowledge
Christofer Toumazou, Sara Seager, and scientist on how new ideas are created
Adam Savage on simple ideas in Science
Serendipity as a means of creating new ideas
Isaac Asimov and Louis Pasteur on new scientific knowledge

1) Of the ways of knowing, which one do you think is the most important in creating new scientific ideas and knowledge? Justify your answer

2) Read the CNN article about scientific discoveries

On the student handout sheet, explain in the blue column how the different ways of knowing help us to create new scientific knowledge
Add the ideas of the scientist to the purple column of your display as you can
Add ideas that don’t belong in this column in the green table
Watch the TED talk about scientific discoveries. For the following episodes
Richard Foynman, Eratosthenes, Armand FizeauThink about what prompted them to ask questions, what methods they used to explore them, and how successful they wore. Add any points in the orange column, linking them to TOK (WOKs/AOKs)

Way of knowing
Role it plays in producing scientific knowledge
Examples from the CNN article
Further notes from the TED talk

Emotion
 
 
 

Faith
 
 
 

Imagination
 
 
 

Intuition
 
 
 

Memory
 
 
 

Reason
 
 
 

Sense perception
 
 
 

Other ways in which scientific knowledge is produced (not related specifically to the WOKs above)
 
3) Find out about one of these discoveries

PenicillinAlexander Fleming was experimenting with the influenza virus when he discovered that he created an antibacterial substance which he then named Penicillin

The PacemakerJohn Hopps was researching the effects of radio frequency heating on hypothermia in 1941

RadiationHenri Becquerel used fluorescent minerals to study the properties of X-Rays. Radiation was bent by the magnetic field so that radiation must be charged and different than x-rays

TefionThis was accidentally discovered by DuPont. Trying to invent a better coolant gas. After leaving a batch of gas overnight he arrived in the morning to find the gas had polymerized spontaneously, leaving a slippery, waxy solid, with remarkable properties.

LSDAlbert Hoffman wanted to a synthesize a chemical compound that would stimulate the respiratory and circulatory systems

ViagraThe sildenafil compound was originally developed by Pfizer for the treatment of high blood pressure and chest pain due to heart disease

X-RaysWilhelm Roentgen accidentally discovered while testing whether cathode rays could pass through glass

4) Look up the meaning of “serendipity”. Does this apply to your discovery? Does science ever proceed by chance?

5) Exit Ticket

“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!) but “That’s funny…”
Chance favors a prepared mind (Louis Pasteur)
What do these two quotes reveal about the discovery of new knowledge in the natural sciences?

7.6 – Standing on the Shoulders of Giants?

Learning Objective

I can describe the way scientific knowledge develops over time
Key Ideas + Thinkers

Eureka moments
Isaac Newton and “standing on the shoulder of giants”
Thomas Kuhn and Paradigm Shifts

1) What have we already decided about the way knowledge in the natural sciences advances?

2) What is a “Eureka” or “aha” moment?

3) Do you think knowledge is produced in this way? Think of some arguments for and against “Eureka” moments’ as methods of producing knowledge

4) Read the article on plate tectonics. Does it support or refute the idea of “Eureka moments”  

5) “If I have further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” Isaac Newton

What do you think Newton meant?
What does this suggest about the way nre ideas in science (and other fields) appear?
Can you think of examples? Start with your own understanding of the natural world.
Are there any problems with this model?

6) What are Kuhn’s “paradigm shifts”? and how do they differ from the other two viewpoints about the development of knowledge?

7) What examples are given on the site, and can you think of other paradigm shifts (in science and non-science)?

8) Exit Ticket

Which of the three viewpoints do you think is the most convincing as an explanation of how scientific knowledge develops?
7.7 – Communicating Science

Learning Objectives

I can explain how new forms of communication are affecting the integrity of science
Key Ideas + Thinkers

New forms of communication and scientific ideas
Neil deGrasse Tyson and B.O.B on the ideas of a flat earth
The problem of getting across scientific ideas reliably

1) Do you think that modern forms of communication (as we saw in the BQ’s earlier classes) help or hinder the communication of scientific ideas? Explain your answer

2) Why is a discredited idea now being listened to by thousands of people? Write down a possible hypothesis to explain what’s going on

3) Create a short presentation to explain the problem that science currently faces in terms of getting its ideas across in the social media age

4) Exit Ticket

Does the fact that communication is now much easier undermine the integrity of scientific knowledge? Explain your answer.
7.9 – Conclusion to BQ7

Learning Objectives

I can write a conclusion to BQ7 – How and why does knowledge develop over time
Key Ideas + Thinkers

Rounding up all the ideas and thinkers we have looked at in the unit
The qualities of an effective TOK essay conclusion

1) What is the purpose of a conclusion in a TOK essay?

2) What might we include in a conclusion to our big question about shared and personal knowledge?

3) How many of the following thinkers and ideas can you briefly explain?

Denotations, connotations and the context of wordsDenotation: The literal meaning of the word
Connotations: An idea or feeling of the word
Context of Words: It is the word that surrounds other words

Kory Stamper on the purpose of dictionaries (prescriptive vs descriptive)The purpose of dictionaries isn’t about defining words but about exploring and investigating
Prescriptive: It is a rule or method
Descriptive: It is describing

Erin Mckean (and Douglas Adams) on the authority for wordsErin Mckean: A current of different dialects of Language “River”
Douglas Adams: The use of language

John Mcwhorter – “texting is miraculous”“Lols”
GIFS
Fingered Speech
Twitter
Email Sign Offs
Hashtags

Adam Savage – scientific discoveriesSimple ideas leading to Scientific Discoveries

Isaac Asimov and Louis Pasteur on discoveriesIsaac Asimov: Known for Science Fiction
Louis Pasteur: Changed medicine: developed vaccines

Eureka momentsA sudden discovery

Newton – ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’Symbolizes scientific progress and discoveries

Thomas Kuhn – paradigm shiftsFundamental change in basic concepts and experimental practices of scientific knowledge

Science versus social mediaSocial Media helps spread Scientific Knowledge. Brings upsides and downsides.

The ‘direction’ of scientific knowledgeBased on research, experiments and observations

4) Write Up

Now write a conclusion to the big question – How and why does knowledge develop over time?
Include the ideas of at least two thinkers
Include a quote from one of these thinkers, or someone else
Submit to Google Classroom

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