Chapter 3 Course Companion Study/Action 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.

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 chart– we will take some time in class do this with a partner and discuss

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

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?


_____Which ways of knowing (sense perception, language, emotion, and reasoning) are most relevant to each of the 3 categories  – try to provide a specific example.


_____In which category would you place the statement “I’ve heard about that” and why?

_____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.

_____Choose 3 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.

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

_____Curate something on one of the following types of memory or at least find out what they all are:

_____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.

Pg. 98-100: Voodoo Activity

 j. We will discuss the questions in class in groups, but

_____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

 k. 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

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?

Pg. 105-6: Kinds of Claims

After reading about rational, observational, metaphysical, and value judgments, we will play the partner game on pg. 106

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.

Pg. 110-111: Intensity of Belief

_____Draw or diagram something that represents the relationship between belief, truth, knowledge, and justification.

Pg. 112-113- Pseudoarchaeology

Pg. 114: Do I Believe?


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


Welcome to TOK!

You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self…

Not I, not any one else can travel that road for you,

You must travel it for yourself. 

It is not far, it is within reach. Perhaps you have been on it since you were born…

and did not know…

Walt Whitman: From Song of Myself (1855)


Hello, class of 2014! I’m excited to start this blogging journey with you. You will be curators for the next 2 years, and these blogs will help you share your findings and reflections to the world. I’ll be doing my own share of blogging as well. Have fun and think deeply!

Please check out Eric MacKnight’s “STAGES OF TOK” and his “ADVICE from STUDENTS”





  •  Face each other to ensure eye contact.
  •  Be a good listener. Be open to, and respond to, what has been said. Do not just wait to state your own preconceived idea.
  •  Respect all: No gloating, taunting or sarcasm.
  •  If you have something to contribute there is a moral imperative to do so.
  •  Do not pretend to understand if you don’t. Ask for clarification.
  •  One voice at a time. No ongoing battles between domineering individuals.
  • Be rigorous and have fun!


What’s TOK all about? Here’s my Prezi overview to hopefully explain what we’ll be doing for the next 2 years.



Did you buy the Course Companion Book?

We’ll be using REMIND101 as a tool for more effective communication. Please download this info and set it up asap.

Setting up your TWITTER account

We will be using “the backchannel” in class discussions and during films. You will also find Twitter valuable for curating sources on your own. Please download this document to help:


Posterous is the blogging platform we’ll be using in this course. It’s been recently purchased by Twitter and is even the official blog for TEDtalks.

There are many resources to help you get started and navigating. Just look to the helpful links in the right hand side navigation of this blog. In the first TOK session I hope to have you set up the basics and paste your personal blog space URL here:

After that, I will create a page linked to this blog with everyone’s spaces and handles.

*Remember- you can change your theme any time if it’s not working for you.

Check out these sample TOK blogs from the DP2 class:








During the first session (time allowing), you will be asked to choose a quote from this spreadsheet and create a poster to decorate the room.

Access the spreadsheet and read through the quotes, then “claim” the quote by typing your name next to it.

Think about what image would be perfect with the text’s meaning. 

You may make the poster in any way you like- with original or found photography, hand-drawn, interesting typography (fonts only). You may also choose any tools you like.

*for something easier than Photoshop, try (like old Picnik)

**After you are finished, either submit to me by hand or email a high quality version so Ms. Piche can print in color.


Make a group music video with the iPad app VidRhythm (I’ll upload to our YouTube). See this: