Model ToK Oral Presentation Understanding the Vancouver Riots: a TOK analysis of the violence following the Stanley Cup Hockey Finals on June 15th, 2011 Objectives of ToK Oral Presentation Identify and explore a Knowledge Issue (KI)
raised by a Real-life Situation (RLS) Show insightful thinking about KI, supporting ideas about knowledge claims, justifying thinking, making connections with ToK concepts Presentation should have two stages: an introduction and brief explanation of the RLS, and clear identification of KI Discussion of KI and shows how the KI relates to RLS
Assessment criteria for the Presentation Criterion A: Identification of the knowledge issue [/5] Did the student identify a relevant knowledge issue in a real-life situation? Criterion B: Treatment of knowledge issues [/5] Did the presentation show a good understanding of the knowledge issues, in the context of real life? Criterion C: Knowers perspective [/5] Did the presentation show an individual approach,
particularly in the use of arguments and examples? Criterion D: Connections [/5] Did the presentation give a clear account of how the question could be approached from different perspectives? Tips: Without a focus on a Knowledge Issue
presentations cannot deserve high marks on criteria The topic should be grounded in real people and real life, not just a theoretical issue Dont just mention TOK concepts and vocabulary: Analyze them! Have notes for your presentation. Practice it. In groups, make sure each member participates evenly and critically in the presentation Approach the KI from different viewpoints Use the TOK presentation planner
1. Take a RLS 2. Extract a KI from a RLS 5. Apply analysis back to RLS 6. Extend analysis to
other areas 4. While 3. Analyze the KI not theanalyzing, RLS Identify other -From your own perspective -From other perspectives KIs - Using ideas and concepts from TOK
1. Take a Real Life Situation Violence in downtown Vancouver, BC, Canada after the final game of the Stanley Cup between Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins June 15, 2011 News coverage Summary of RLS
The city of Vancouver set up giant screens so that fans could watch the game The local team lost Fans destroyed the screens and rioting began Store windows were broken and stores looted Fights broke out between Vancouver supporters Cars were set on fire, including police cars Riot police sprayed gas to disperse the crowds Hundreds of people were injured and arrested
Millions of dollars in damages were reported Reactions How can well behaved sports fans from an advanced and liberal society behave this way? Teacher from Vancouver So sad watching our VPD cars on fire and how quickly people can turn from law-abiding to law-breaking.
Vancouver Police Department on Twitter 2. Extract Knowledge Issue KI = open-ended questions that have more than one possible answer; explicitly about knowledge and not subject-specific claims; worded in TOK vocabulary and concepts: the Areas of Knowledge: Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, History, Mathematics, Ethics the Ways of Knowing: Reason, Emotion, Perception, Language and the Concepts in the linking questionsbelief, certainty, culture, evidence, experience, explanation, interpretation,
intuition, justification, truth, values precise in terms of the relationships between these concepts How do individuals know what is the ethical thing to do when the collective is doing something seemingly wrong? 3. Analyze the Knowledge Issue What is the ethical thing to do?
Do we agree that : it is wrong to break store windows and steal (looting)? it is wrong to destroy private property? It is wrong to fight and beat up others because you are angry? Yes! But, why? Where does ethical conduct come from? Why is it important to behave ethically? Ethical codes are sets of rules that control and regulate the way people in a collective
should behave Ethics are more than just rules or laws they establish principles on which rules are based Ethical decisions reside in our own consciences John Stuart Mills Utilitarian Theory of Ethics The right thing to do is not just to ensure your own happiness, but the happiness of the whole society
Actions are right if they benefit the majority of people We should seek the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people Self-interest Theory of Ethics advanced by Aristotle We are reasoning, rational beings, so we can
differentiate the concepts of right and wrong To be happy is defined as being content with life in a fulfilled and virtuous way It is in our self-interest to cultivate virtues like generosity, bravery, temperance, loyalty because in the long-term the practice of these virtues will ensure our happiness Support for Self-interest Theory If you steal, you will soon be rejected by
the community in which you live Psychologically-speaking, you respect others because you share the same human nature: Other people are of value because they are the same species as yourself. Hence, feelings of sympathy and solidarity You treat others as you would like to be treated (Kants categorical imperative)
Kants Categorical Imperative There is a rational, universal explanation for ethical behaviour, transcending cultures Kant called the supreme principle of morality: Categorical Imperative We are capable of reason and have ethical responsibilities As reasoning beings, we can consider what would happen if our actions became a universal rule of conduct. (What
would happen if everyone, categorically, did what you did?) Kant also believed in the Law of Respecting Others We must all respect others in the same way we expect to be treated The Law of Respecting Others should be universally applied Summing up why ethics is important: For utilitarian purposes, we should behave ethically in order to ensure the greatest happiness for the
greatest number of people For Aristotle, if we behave ethically we ensure our own fulfilled and virtuous happiness in the long-run For Kant, we have ethical responsibilities due to the ability to reason: categorical imperative For people who rioted in Vancouver, they were not only behaving illegally and stupidly, but also unethically
But! What happens when a social collective seems to act wrongly? How do we know it is wrong when many people are doing it? Violent manifestations Riots Anti-Jewish Pogroms 1930s Food riots Sports violence
4. Identify other KIs: Psychology of masses the madding crowd the anonymity of crowds enthusiasm of a crowd makes an individual less aware of true nature of their actions Gustave Le Bon, French sociologist (1841-1931) Behaviour of crowds are based more on emotion than
on intellect Kurt Lewin, German-American psychologist (1890- 1947) Lewins Equation: B = f(P,E) means that individual behaviour is a function of Person and their Environment A violent environment can lead a peaceful individual to behave violently
4. Identify other KIs: Biological explanations Herd behaviour Crowds which are threatened behave in the same way as herds of animals fleeing a predator Hamiltons Selfish Herd theory : under panic conditions humans behave the same way as mice or ants Role of adrenal gland (adrenaline) fight or flight
5. Apply analysis back to RLS Observe the Herd Behaviour! KI: How do individuals know what is the ethical thing to do when the collective is doing something seemingly wrong? Our understanding of what are correct individual ethical decisions are learned from school, family and role models in
society However, as Lewin says that an individual behaviour is affected by his or her environment, these ethical or unethical behaviours can be altered by the way a crowd behaves This can be due to crowd psychology, as Le Bon says that crowds lead to more emotional behaviour, than using ones reason This could also be the result of somethinge more innate, a biological instinct to fight or flight. Perceptions of what is just or unjust, appropriate or inappropriate can also be affected by the consumption of
alcohol 6. Extend analysis to other areas: Examples of disruptive crowd behaviour from History Plague Riot Moscow, 1771 Pogroms Germany 1930s
Los Angeles riots 1992 Ethics in the 21st Century Role of Facebook is influencing social behaviour, removing anonymity of masses Identifying culprits of violence Facebook pages such as Facebook Riot Pics : Post Your Photos and
Vancouver Riot: Tag the Hooligans have encouraged people to post photos and identify people smashing windows, tipping over urinals and police cars, burning vehicles and brawling with police. Clean up Vancouver groups Ethics is thought and action Plaza del Sol manifestations Madrid, May 2011 Democracia real, ya!
La clase poltica vive alejada de los ciudadanos y slo se maneja por sus propios intereses. Manifestations in Egypt Cairo, January 2011 News: Social networks credited with role in toppling Egypt's Mubarak Activists used Facebook, Twitter, YouTube to mobilize during protests Conclusions Senseless acts of violence by masses have occurred repeatedly in
History Some mass demonstrations and riots do have rational explanations, such as the recent disruptions in Egypt and manifestations in Spain, or the plague riots in Moscow in 18th Century However, when massive disruptions take place, it can lead people to forget the ethical values learned from parents, schools and positive role models in society These ethical values form the basis of our conscience and, according to Aristotle, will ensure our long-term happiness and fulfillment Options will always exist in times of social unrest: how an individual
behaves in public will determine his or her understanding of ethics
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