Monday, May 10, 2010

general comment

Dear All,

It is great that this blog has become so active in recent days. Some of your comments are extremely interesting and worthy of further exploration.

I just wanted to make a general observation at this point. It is similar to something I wrote earlier but that is down at the foot of some thread and may not be read by everyone.

As some of us said last week in class, successful TOK is a marriage between students and teachers (yes, yes - I know, that doesn't sound too attractive!). Students bring real life experiences and opinions about knowledge issues, along with the youthful energy to think about and discuss them in a lively manner; teachers bring established ideas and approaches to these knowledge issues so that discussion is rooted in the intellectual activities of humanity as a whole.

We do not expect you to agree with all of the ideas that we contribute in class (indeed you couldn't because some are contradictory positions); what we do hope is that you will engage with them and not ignore them. This is because they are often well-thought-out positions adopted by eminent scholars and are therefore worthy of respect. That was the purpose of the little "test" we gave you in class last week - to see whether you have been keeping up to date with our side of the bargain.

So, for example, a question such as "what is language?" on the thread below is not a "bolt from the blue" requiring your thinking from first principles but a question to which we can relate previously introduced class material. You might disagree with some these respectable ideas, and that is fine (as long as you try to support what you think) because that is also a form of engagement. Engagement with the whole of TOK is the key.

Looking forward to many further interesting contributions.