“Who’s an Indian now?”: concept, definition, and significant ruling

Theory of Knowledge banner

A unanimous ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada on April 14 gives us a dramatic example to take to a Theory of Knowledge class: Métis and non-status aboriginal people in Canada are now defined as “Indians” by the federal government. The people who now fit into this category are celebrating. The implications are significant for the rights they can now claim, the programs and […]

Read more

“Natural selection” and the early career of a metaphor

Theory of Knowledge banner

“Metaphors, as we all by now know, aren’t just ornamental linguistic flourishes—they’re basic building blocks of everyday reasoning. And they’re at their most potent when they recast a difficult-to-understand phenomenon as something familiar.” So writes cognitive scientist Kensy Cooperrider. In giving the backstory of Darwin’s choice of “natural selection” for evolution, he provides a short article for any Theory of Knowledge […]

Read more

“Really? You don’t know what MATTER is?”: Nobel Laureate in physics uses doughnuts to explain.

Theory of Knowledge banner

In just a minute and a half on a comedy show, Nobel Laureate Arthur McDonald explains the discovery in physics that made him a co-winner of a Nobel Prize this month. Well, actually…..no, he doesn’t. But he does provoke a laugh, perhaps especially for Canadians who recognize the popular chocolate Timbits (doughnuts) he resorts to […]

Read more

“Evidence-based medicine”: a class discussion, with a caffeine lift!

Theory of Knowledge banner

(Originally posted on  Activating TOK)  Did you know that green coffee bean extract can help you lose weight? No? Me neither! Today, I’d like to propose a class discussion on thinking critically about media knowledge claims for products that yield fabulous (literally) medical benefits. The discussion is given a caffeine lift by a bite-sized example from a year […]

Read more