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Sphere by M.C. Escher

Interpreting Our World Through Sense Perception and LanguagePerception is active inquiry, not passive reception...We reach out to cope with the world in many complex ways: in names and descriptions, in sense and reference, in signs, symbols, words and gestures, in thinking in acting. (Reuben Abel Man is the Measure)
Our next unit will focus on the remaining two Ways of Knowing, Perception and Language. In order to for us to make substantive knowledge claims about our world, we must interpret, define, reference the external stimuli in a manner that allows us to internally make meaning and share that meaning with others. By exploring the interaction between the internal and external processes of the human mind, we can begin to explore how are knowledge is constructed and evaluate how sense perception and language can strengthen and limit our understanding. To provide context to our discussion of these two Ways of Knowing we will be developing and analyzing how their impact varies in the three Areas of Knowledge of History, the Arts, the Human Science and the Natural Science. Be prepared to have you senses and conceptions challenged. It might be a little uncomfortable at times but ultimately, hopefully enlightening.


Essential Questions

1. How do our five senses give us information about our world and what are the strengths and weaknesses of the data we receive? More Related Questions

2. What is the role of interpretation in processing sensory input? How might expectations, assumptions and beliefs affect sense perceptions? More Related Questions

3. To what extent do knowledge claims based on sensory input vary between different areas of knowledge? More Related Questions

4. What is the nature of language and how does it define our world? What are the limitations presented by these definitions?More Related Questions

5. Is language created by or innate to humans? What are the ramifications of each of these theories? More Related Questions

6. How does the variance that exists in language impact the different areas of knowledge? More Related Questions

7. How does the interaction between language and sensory perception strengthen and weaken our "true" understanding?

Assessment

Your summative assessment for this unit will be a presentation that links a "real life" situation and a Knowledge Question of your choosing that demonstrates the strengths and weaknesses of the Ways of Knowing in the acquisition and application of knowledge. There are a number of potential themes that you can explore for this presentation, so make sure you write down ideas that interest you as you progress through this unit so you can use them in your presentation.

You will be allowed to work individually or in pairs and you will be assessed on the TOK presentation rubric. TOK Presentation Rubric
You will need to complete a Presentation Planning Form before you will be able to sign-up for you time slot: Presentation Schedule

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Week

Topics

Activities

1

How do our five senses give us information about our world and what are the strengths and weaknesses of the data we receive?
Starter for Sense Perception: Which way is the train moving?
Watch Seeing is Believing video and complete Audience Participation activities
(See Mr. Johnson for Videos)
Reading from Man is the Measure on Perception
(Possible Homework or In-Class, 4 pgs)
Discussion Questions


Beau Lotto Ted Talk - Optical Illusions How We See

Seeing more than your eye does link

2

What is the role of interpretation in processing sensory input? How might expectations, assumptions and beliefs affect sense perceptions
A Show of Hands Activity
(Explanation for Teachers

What Sound Does it Make? Activity
(Download
Plato's Allegory of the Cave

HW: Chinese, Americans Truly See Differently See Article
Perception Synonym Scavenger Hunt
Socratic Discussion on the nature of perception
Discussion Question and Preparation

3

What is the nature of language and how does it define our world? What are the limitations presented by these definitions?
Create Your Own Language Activity
Stephen Frye's Planet Word Episode 1: Where does our language come from? (HW task)
Orwellian Doublespeak Activity Link
The Problem of Definition: Beef, Cows and Chairs Activity Link
Flash cards pdf for Cows and Chairs activity


Socratic Discussion on the Nature of Language
Homework Reading: Selections from Man is the Measure by Reuben Abel

Comprehension Questions to accompany reading

4

Is language created by or innate to humans? What are the ramifications of each of these theories?
How does the variance that exists in language impact the different areas of knowledge?
Nature of Language Quotes Cocktail Party Starter
Download for Teachers-
Stephen Frye's Planet Word Episode 2: Language and Identity (HW Task)
Decipher the Text
Video- The Stuff of Thought
(See Mr. Johnson for Videos)

Class Discussion on the Origin of Language



AOK Etymology Assignment

5

Introduce Presentation Criterion, Develop Knowledge Question and Begin Working on Presentations.
Setup Presentation of Ways of Knowing
Work on Presentation
Presentations on Language and Perception
6
Presentations in Class Time
Student Presentations Assessed (Self, Peer and Teacher)

TOK Lexicon for this Unit

By the conclusion of this unit you should have developed at least a working definition of each of the below terms. Refer to the TOK Lexicon to see how our community of learners is contributing to the "definitions" of these and other terms.

Senses

Perception

Language

Assumptions

Expectations

Input

Output

Innate

Created






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