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.