Excellent Examples Of Knowledge Issues For Oral Presentation


Written on January 23, 2011 – 10:10 am | by Larry Ferlazzo

Once students identify their overall topic for the Oral Presentation, it’s sometimes a challenge to develop the Knowledge issues to explore in the presentation.

The trick is to create broader knowledge issues — questions that relate more to the “Big Picture.”  Then, use the idea of your topic to illustrate your Knowledge issues.

As you decide on both your topic and the knowledge issues, please remember that a key criteria for them is this:  It must be something you are genuinely interested in learning about! Life is too short to pick something that you just think IB and your teacher will like, or one that you think will be easy.

Now, getting back to topics and knowledge issues…

Wendy and Yovanna, two students in our TOK class, have graciously agreed to let me publish their original knowledge issues — which were narrow — and then how they changed them to more “Big Picture” ones.  Their overall topic is human cloning, and they will be able to incorporate that topic in their exploration of the broader Knowledge Issues they ultimately developed.

First, you’ll read their original Knowledge Issues followed by the new versions:

WAY OF KNOWING QUESTIONS [ORIGINAL]

How can human cloning cause a double standard morally? [REASON & ETHICS]

-Human clones are like having a slave

-Human clones are like having a robot

How does human cloning change what we may perceive as life and humanity? [PERCEPTION]

-Human cloning is awesome because we are progressing scientifically and we can change the population easily and change the clone so that it is smarter, stronger, and more capable

-Human cloning is bad because humans aren’t naturally created in a petri dish and flaws are what make humans human. To tamper with how people have sex to create babies is to ruin the definition of humans.

How can human cloning affect the clone? [EMOTIONS]

-Human clones have no emotions

-Humans have emotions

WAY OF KNOWING QUESTIONS [FINAL]

How does reason and ethics intertwine with morality?

-Reason and ethics can cause us to more thoroughly understand a situation, thus making a better decision morally in the end.

-Reason and ethics can cause us to over think a situation, thus making a decision not on your own morals but other alternatives/morals that may have came to mind.

How can culture/religion determine what we perceive as life and humanity?

-Culture/religion can dictate what we may perceive as life and humanity.

-Our personal beliefs may differ from what our culture/religion commonly perceives as life and humanity.

How can emotions affect what we believe to be morally wrong?

-Emotions can overtake our judgment on morality.

-Emotions may play a role in what we believe to be morally wrong, but ethics play a more vital role in what we believe to be morally wrong.



  1. 4 Responses to “Excellent Examples Of Knowledge Issues For Oral Presentation”

  2.   By Clarence Maloney on Jan 24, 2011 | Reply

    Good, Bryan. If I were teaching at KIS, ToK is a subject I would like to teach. In our day we had more simple ethical questions and there were more read-made answers to believe in. I will be back there from Afghanistan after March and stay through mid-June, and of course want to be with my great daughter and wife there.

  3.   By Simon Thomas on Jan 24, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Larry

    Thanks for this – I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve added it to my own philosophy site (I didn’t realise you taught theory of knowledge as well as being involved with ELT).

    I wonder if you’ve come across Will Ord’s philosophy for children page (http://www.thinkingeducation.co.uk/p4c.htm)? You might find some interesting teaching ideas there as well.

    Many thanks

    Simon

  4.   By Simon Thomas on Jan 24, 2011 | Reply

    PS sorry – the link to Will Ord’s site is this one (confusing extra question mark in my last comment):

    http://www.thinkingeducation.co.uk/p4c.htm

  5.   By Wendy Kwong on Jan 24, 2011 | Reply

    :) isn’t youvanna and i the best students ever :)

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