Part 2 Internal Assessment (20 points)
The Presentation (approximately 10 minutes per candidate)
One presentation to the class
One written self-evaluation report, using the relevant form from the Vade Mecum, including:
- a concise description of the presentation
- answers to the questions provided on the form.
The presentation should be an integral part of the TOK course.
Students must make one or more individual and/or small group oral presentations to the class during the course, and complete a self-evaluation report.
Topics for oral presentations may be chosen by the student(s) with the teacher’s approval, or may be assigned by the teacher. The presentations may be on any topic relevant to TOK, provided that it has the potential to meet the demands of the assessment criteria. Prescribed Titles, however, should never be used as presentation topics.
Presentations may take many forms, such as lectures, skits, simulations, games, dramatized readings, interviews or debates. The students may use supporting material such as videos, overhead projections, posters, questionnaires, cassettes of songs or interviews, costumes, or props. Under no circumstances, however, should the presentation be simply an essay read aloud to the class.
If a student makes more than one presentation, the teacher should choose the best (or the best group presentation in which the student participated) for the purposes of assessment.
Although a student may have made the presentation as a member of a group, the teacher must attribute points on an individual basis.
Students must prepare a written self-evaluation report, using the relevant form from the Vade Mecum, including a concise description of the presentation and brief answers to questions such as:
- In what ways did the topic address problems of knowledge, such as reaching truth or gaining evidence?
- What was the main objective of the presentation? Explain briefly.
- What methods were used to present the topic and why were these methods selected?
- Was the presentation well-organized, thought-provoking and engaging?
- If a group presentation, what was your personal contribution?
- What were the strong and weak points of the presentation? If you were to do it again, what, if anything, would you do differently to improve it?
The date when each presentation is to take place should be given to students well in advance, to allow sufficient time for topics to be chosen and for material to be prepared.
Students should nominate the topics which most interest them. To encourage variety and programme coverage, each topic should be treated only once.
The teacher should provide students with prompt or starter questions.
Presentations should be scheduled to allow time for discussion afterwards.
Individual presentations should be for approximately 10 minutes, not including class discussion. Related individual presentations and interactive group presentations are encouraged, and should be of sufficient duration to allow the application of the assessment criteria to all the students involved.
If a group presentation is envisaged, not every student need speak for the same amount of time, but all students are expected make a contribution and to participate actively.
Before preparing presentations, students should be given the self-evaluation form from the Vade Mecum.
Examples of Presentation Topics
The following examples, which have been found to have been effective, are intended to give guidance as to the type of topics which would be appropriate for this component, and to illustrate ways in which contemporary issues or events may be linked with knowledge issues, providing a prompt for reflective thinking. It is not expected that teachers use all, or any, of them.
What is the relationship between the natural sciences and social responsibility? Choose a single recent scientific and/or technological development as a focus and consider its ethical implications. Who bears the moral responsibility for directing or limiting development of such knowledge, and on what basis can that responsibility be justified?
How do the human sciences help us to understand many of the misunderstandings and frictions which frequently arise between groups of people? Identify a contemporary problem involving the interaction of groups (for example, ethnic, racial, socioeconomic, or religious groups) and consider the knowledge given by psychology, anthropology and economics. In what ways can these disciplines illuminate the causes and the characteristics of the problem? In what ways might they also be relevant to possible solutions? Are there other disciplines which would increase our understanding of the particular issue?
Does history tell us the truth? Choose any single historical incident and use it to explore the nature and complexities of historical truth. In what ways is this exploration of the past relevant to an understanding of the present? Is there any contemporary incident which it illuminates?
How do we know whether we are acting in a ‘good’ or ‘moral’ way? Select any ethical issue and examine it from two or more possible ethical viewpoints. The purpose is to seek the differing grounds on which claims to justifying moral behaviour may be made, not to prove that one way is the ‘right’ way.
On what bases do spiritual beliefs rest? Choose an example of a particular belief (for example, about the creation of the world or the nature of a life after death) and consider it from the point of view of atheism, and at least two major religions, presenting in each case the justifications which persuade the believers. Your goal is not to establish any religion as right or wrong, but to explore belief and justification. To what extent can spiritual belief be classified as ‘knowledge’? Would denying a belief the status of knowledge decrease its value or significance?
Identify an issue of interest in your local area (for example, genetically modified food in Germany, native land claims in Canada, construction of hydroelectric dams in Chile, the destruction of the Amazon forest in Brazil, or drug policy in The Netherlands) which introduces a conflict of concepts and values. Examine the facts, language, statistics, and images used by at least two sides in the conflict in their representation of the issue. In the process, identify assumptions, justifications, values, and emotions which diverge. To
what extent can you find valid arguments?
Identify an issue of global significance (for example, AIDS, genocide, refugees, abuses of human rights, desertification, pollution and global warming, and uneven distribution of world resources) which introduces a conflict of concepts and values. Examine the facts, language, statistics, and images used by at least two sides in the conflict in their representation of the issue. In the process, identify assumptions, justifications, values and emotions which diverge. To what extent can you find the truth of the issue?
Select one new development in knowledge, and consider its effect on the discipline within which it has developed, and its challenge to ethics or other Areas of Knowledge. In science and technology, for example, you might focus on the human genome project, cloning, nuclear power, or the IT revolution. In the arts, you might focus on computergenerated art or electronic music.
Can purposely misleading the public be justified, as sometimes occurs in politics or advertising? Consider cases of intentional misinformation, or cases of the use of fallacious arguments, in these and other Areas of Knowledge such as science, the arts, or history.