KI*s: Knowledge Issues

Knowledge Issues
TOK definition of KI’s
• “Knowledge issues are questions
that directly refer to our
understanding of the world,
ourselves and others, in
connection with the acquisition,
search for, production, shaping
and acceptance of knowledge.”
TOK description of KI’s
• “ Knowledge issues can reveal how
knowledge can be a benefit, a gift, a
pleasure and a basis for further thought
and action; just as they can uncover the
possible uncertainties, biases in
approach, or limitations relating to
knowledge, ways of knowing, and the
methods of verification and justification
appropriate in different areas of
‘Knowledge Issues’ often start with
the question “How do we know…”
• How do we know if a source or claim can be
• How do we know what is morally right or
• How do we know what our conclusions rest
• How do we know if results are accurate?
‘Knowledge Issues’ can be related to
the four ‘Ways of Knowing’
Reason (logic / inductive reasoning / deduction / syllogism)
Emotion (intuition / feelings / moods)
Sense Perception (the 5 senses / Kinaesthetic awareness etc.)
Language (all forms of structured communication)
• Questions could relate to:
definition / use / importance / limitations / negative effects
etc. in relation to your subject area
‘Knowledge Issues’ can be questions
about subject areas
Is Mathematics present in Nature?
How reliable is ‘proof’ in the Natural Sciences?
Are the human ‘Sciences’ really Science?
How useful is knowledge gained in History?
‘Knowledge Issues’ can be related to Distinctions
& Connections between subject areas
• What makes one subject area different from other subjects?
• What is Scientific about Science?
• How is a subject defined – are there disagreements?
• Where are the boundaries of your subject?
• What is the relationship between one subject area and other subject areas?
• What does your subject have in common with other subject areas?
• Why is your subject area clustered in a specific Area of Knowledge?
So, What is a KI again?
• Knowledge Issues are questions that directly refer
to our understanding of the world, ourselves and
others, in connection with the acquisition, search
for, production, shaping and acceptance of
knowledge. – TOK Guide
• K.I.’s are about how we know, about the
difficulties that may be involved in coming to
knowledge in these situations, about the reliable
and trustworthy ways (and how reliable and
trustworthy they are).
Lets Look at a Knowledge Issue
What distinguishes men from women?
(This is my knowledge issue)
Make a list with your partner. (beside each
distinction explain what area of knowledge it
comes from)
We will put a list on the board.
What is the bias or uncertainty in the
Knowledge Issue?
Lets read the article from the National Programmed Radio
program ‘Gene Plays a Critical Role in Gender Divide’.
• How does this effect your understanding of what makes
men or women different?
• What area of knowledge is this information coming from.
• Would other areas’ of knowledge look at this type of
question differently?
“It’s very difficult to define what is a man and what is a
women at this point,” said Christine McGinn, a plastic
surgeon who specializes in transgender medicine.”
If we start questioning the rigidity of the distinction
between men and women how may this effect
sport? How about the Olympics?
(sub question)Why are the only distinction in
sport between men and women? Sometimes
weight and height are also used, but not often
How about the awards at the MTV Music Awards or
the Oscars? (they have different awards for men
and women)
Progression Chart
Progression Chart (continued)
TOK Presentation
8-10 Minutes
• This presentation will require an integration
of the ways of knowing with the areas of
knowledge and base this
integration in the real world.
•Grades will be authentically based on the
TOK Presentation Rubric.
•The ways of knowing are filters through
which we gain knowledge in the various areas
of knowledge.
•Relate yourself as a knower to one of the
areas of knowledge through one of the ways
of knowing.
TOK Presentation
• One written presentation planning document (steps 1-3) and
presentation marking form (step 4):
1) Real-Life situation/contemporary problem
2) The knowledge issue that is the focus of the presentation
3) The format used and a summary in note form of the knowledge
issues to be
treated during the presentation and: due the class the prior to
4) Achievement levels for each of the four assessment criteria, briefly
justified: due at the beginning of the class immediately following
the presentation.
TOK Presentation
1) Real-life situation/contemporary problem: Global warming
2) Knowledge Issue: “Can we be certain that global warming is taking
place?” or, “Does language affect our view of whether or not the planet
is undergoing global warming (natural sciences)?”
3) Format: Analyze and critically evaluate video and newspaper clips
involving the views of experts, politicians and activists who defend or
dispute the notion that the planet is suffering from global warming.
Draws attention to different aspects of the evidence—the nature of the
words used, statistics and graphs, photographs. Bulleted list and
bibliography attached
4) Knower’s point of view: The evidence in favor of global warming is
compelling, in some cases it is difficult to separate some protagonists’
positions and how they are formulated from the interest groups they
TOK Presentation
• Use the progression chart to create a KI for a
• Then brainstorm a plan and fill out the
presentation planning form
• Presentation Planning Form DUE Sept. 5th
• Presentations start week of October 10th
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