There were three test that will tell us what position I would hold if I were a politician. The results suggested that I’m moderate, so neither left nor right wing. Also, there was another test that suggested that I have very limited knowledge concerning the current political events around the world. As a learner and a knower, I tend to live in my own bubble. I’m not reading any news about what is going on around the world. I only listen when my parents are talking at home. This provides me with a very limited knowledge on these issues and the kinds of problems our society is facing. Getting familiar with politics can drastically help me being a critical thinker. In a society, it is important to have your own thoughts because every individual will be making his or her own decisions. News and politics are a great place to practice and challenge your thoughts, because you can learn from events and propose your point of view. Nevertheless, the results are suggesting that I’m in the middle between being conservative and liberal, and this can also affect my knowledge. If I was somewhat or completely conservative, I would reject some information that is out of my expectable zone. This will eventually influence the range of information I’m receiving, because I will only tend to see information from one extreme side. However, whether you are conservative, liberal, or in the middle all depends on the environment you live in. There is not an absolute right or wrong answer on if it is better to be left or right wing. It is still a better choice for you look at a fact from multiple perspectives first, and then conclude according to your political position. This is because, as we learn from multiple views, people might change their position through learning, so as a knower, we should be willing to see the whole picture before judging.
Recalling all the activities we did, the one activity that stood out for me was where there were multiple stations where we had to explore the ways of knowing. It was very meaningful because you learn from actual activities. If you have experienced a lot, then you can better understand the content. For example, we were playing a card game with teammates. This game was about finding the other identical card. This activity appealed to memory. During the game, I’ve memorized wrong pairs of cards several times. I could only remember which area the other card was in, but I couldn’t locate it directly. After the game, we have finalized that memory can sometimes be wrong. Not everything can be stored correctly in the memory. There might be some blemish in memory. From other activities, we noticed that the different ways of knowing could sometimes be misleading. So, every kind of way on how we learned and get to know everything have all pros and cons. After learning, I think the most important message is to not believe everything that you see, hear, or remember….
In this stage of learning, I have learned that TOK is where people are able to have their own definition for anything with evidence. It is a very philosophical course where there is not an absolute answer. Before, I would not have listened to another perspective on a common fact like for instance that the earth is flat. However, through many activities, I have started to accept different ideas. In other words, I don’t mean that I accept and believe every idea but listening to different ideas can make me a more critical thinker. Only hearing one perspective can make you “closed-minded.” So, I have learned to listen and discuss the different points of view that people can have. The purpose of that is to stay open-minded. Maybe I can also learn some things from the conversation. For example, there was another class activity we did that really stayed in my mind. We watched a documentary about the use of technology. Even though I still think that they’ve exaggerated concerning using smartphones, but I’ve learned a lot from what the company really is trying to establish. Also, the strategy they use to advertise considering different types of people impressed me. From this documentary, I have learned that listening to others is very essential.
For further learning, I would like to continue to hold my own personal view but also accept any different opinion to view the whole picture clearly. Looking back to the pieces I’ve written, in summary, I should go more in-depth. Not only looking at an issue or a fact from the surface. I should look deep by explaining my fact in great detail. It would be better if I wrote one specific piece of evidence than writing multiple different evidences and stay brief because going more in depth can show the reliability of my work. Second, I will also try to write a more relevant counterclaim. Counterclaims that I have made were a little too weak. However, if I can find evidence that is the opposite and has significant weakness in that statement, I can then better argue back.
Caterina: What tools did you use when you went to school?
Father: I had a compass, at least. We only had a pencil and wax paper. The teacher carved the test papers in wax paper and print them for multiple copies.
Caterina: Did you only used books to study?
Father: This was my only way of studying. There were no other sources or ways to study from other places.
Nowadays, people can get knowledge from a lot more pathways. The biggest difference between the two generations is that the internet is available. It is a very fast way of getting accurate information. Comparing to my father which they had to read and find the information they need. It is a more efficient way of learning—lastly, the other most significant development in printing and paper. People can print the same information in a few seconds. It is also less time consuming and can print neatly. This development helps us to focus on other things (knowledge) more than just trying to handprint every piece of paper.
Both sides of the argument presented some examples and tried to oppose and disagree with them. For instance, there were examples of marriage, Brexit, an infant, agriculture… Those were examples to prove their arguments. For me, the team who claimed that ignorance is not bliss won because they opposed the marriage and cheating example, saying that ignorance can only be bliss in the short term. Also, they pointed out the most important example where they say that if we are ignorant, then we won’t be living in a safe space but will be hunting in the woods. Even the other group also did a decent job in repulsing these argument points, like claiming the facts about how infants are mostly crying due to wanting attention. Looking objectively, both teams were well prepared and had efficient content. Looking deeper, I feel that the team with ignorant is not bliss had a more solid argument that sometimes made the other team think of how they should be rebuting now. Not saying how the other team was not well prepared, but how fast could they react in order to oppose the other team. In this area, the team “ignorance is not bliss” did a better job. They rebutted the marriage one very quickly and with very decent logic.
However, it was a great debate that our class has host. 🙂