PBL in TOK: Violence in America

I meant to send this out last week, regardless, here is a plan I put together for a quick PBL in my TOK. Take a look and feel free to advise me for next go around about what I could do for it.

Many thanks and we are almost there to summer.


Scenario: The US government has called on experts to help the populace better understand acts of mass violence in the US today. As it stands, the government is still struggling to understand root causes as it and the American people usually want immediate fixes; however, the government has come to realize that in order to deal with the situation knee jerk reactions will no longer cut it. As a result, both the government and the American population need to have a better understanding of root causes. Therefore, the government has called upon you to present your findings at a symposium which seeks to address two issues:

  • What is a root cause to acts of mass violence in the United States
  • What is a viable solution to deal with that cause?

On May 21, 2018, we will hold a symposium where candidates will present their findings to a committee for review. Presentations will be used to explain your understanding of a (not the) root cause and a (not the) viable solution and how you will go about transmitting this understanding regarding acts of mass violence to the people of the United States.

Ideas to consider for presenting your understanding to the population, but not limited to:

  • PSA
  • Website
  • Informative brochure
  • Social media campaign
  • Whatever your mind wishes…

Issues you might consider as you develop your thinking:

  • Responsibilities (as a citizen, community)
  • Social expectations (from society, gender)
  • The role of language in understanding behavior (human/natural science)
  • Socialization (human/biological)
  • Cultural expectations (shared and personal knowledge)

As you develop your response, use the articles you (should) have been reading last week. There have been some solid understandings regarding this issue that have arisen from many of these articles. To ignore them will provide a very narrow and think understanding.


Following are scoring criteria and guidelines:

The purpose of the presentation on the 21st is to “sell” your project to a government agency who will use whatever your ideas are to help people understand mass violence in America today. You will want to consider the best manner about selling your idea. Issues you will address in your presentation:

  • The facts behind your thinking
  • Your understanding of a root cause and a viable solution
  • Your reasons for the project
  • How you think it will be effective in helping others to understand the issue with some clarity
  • How you came to this understanding as a root cause of violence

Presentation evaluated using the following:

  • Poise
    • Well spoken
    • Rehearsed
  • Logical development
    • There is a clear flow of information
    • Introduction is engaging and seeks to pull the audience in
    • Flow of ideas is natural
  • Clear knowledge and understanding of issues
    • Use of human and natural sciences
    • Provides viable solution
  • Developed explanation of ideas and information
    • Use of academic support
    • Consider multiple perspectives

Project evaluated using the following:

  • Creativity
    • Presents the issue in new manner
    • Provides unique insights
    • Demonstrates critical analysis and understanding
  • Sustained inquiry
    • The project should demonstrate inquiry into the subject
  • Research based
    • While not overly technical, the project should be convincing and based on research

Reflection (It is in the reflection where TOK will happen) essay (to be completed individually):

  • Write a 750 word essay that seeks to answer the following knowledge question: How can language of the human and natural sciences lead to understanding of human behavior?

 

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