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sushichan*-*

IB increases students skepticism towards knowledge.

I daresay. At least doing school time. In a limited way.

 

 

Outside school, many of us (if you are like me) act as if all things are what they are -- with a dash of skepticism here and there. Often without much basis for it. Another way of describing this healthy "skepticism"  is "prejudice", "cynicism" or simply "one's point of view".  

 

I'm a bit skeptical of other people's answers to this question  - if they are all positive.  :D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.s. On one thing I am dead certain: IB helped me become terribly skeptical ... of my teachers' knowledge. I think they should be pleased knowing that.  lol

Edited by Blackcurrant

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I think it's true. Sometimes I find myself questioning the authenticity of news covered by different websites. (Assumption here is that news is information, and information counts as knowledge)

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Short answer: Yes, it does!!! and to a great extent that is appropriate to high-school students.

 

First of all, I'd like to point out that there is a huge difference between scepticism & cynicism. People who are truly cynical are usually the ones who deny things for the sake of denying (i.e. they have no good proper criteria of the process of denying; and sometimes, they deny things based on emotional appeals & prejudice). On the other hand, I think that scepticism (as taught by the IB) follows really well of the definition of Kuhn, which is: "A sceptic is one who is willing to question any knowledge claim, asking for clarity in definition, consistency in logic & adequacy of evidence" (TOK title 6, May 2014). And do we do these things in IB? Definitely! We always try to ask for clarity in definition, especially in TOK and the sciences. Consistency in logic? Well, this is too obvious for me to elaborate further. And adequacy of evidence? Yes, we always ask each other for concrete evidence. In history, evidence must come from primary sources (such as diaries, proper government documents, etc.). And in science, students are required to learn about the experimental evidence that gives rise to the knowledge that are being taught. For example, in physics, students don't just study about the theoretical part of General Relativity, but they are also required to understand the experimental tests of GR (such as the Pound-Rebka experiment, or the test for the bending of light around the Sun).

 

Secondly, the degree of scepticism varies among the subjects, because scepticism does come in different forms in IB. For subjective subjects (like history or literature), scepticism mostly appears in the form of critical source analysis. Students are required to analyse how biased a source is. They are also encouraged to challenge other people's claims (as long as they can present a consistency in their own logic & adequacy of evidence). This is probably one of the reasons why these subjects are so subjective.

 

On the other hand, it's much harder to be sceptical within objective subjects (like the science). This is because most of the science stuff that the IB teaches come from the so-called 'hard' science (i.e. these knowledge have been tested over and over again). This, however, doesn't mean that people can't be sceptical about scientific knowledge; but it just means that as a high-school student, you don't have the ability to be sceptical about these knowledge. Why? because the act of scepticism involves asking for clarity in definition, consistency in logic & adequacy of evidence. But as a high-school student, you are not at the frontier of science to be able provide new evidence that challenges the scientific principles; and you are not at the frontier of science to be able to look for the logical inconsistency. Nevertheless, students can still be sceptical here, in the sense that we ask about whether we can trust scientific knowledge or not. This is usually discussed in TOK, in which many of us debate about empiricism vs reasoning, for example. In other words, even though we can't challenge the knowledge being taught within the science class, we are able to challenge the scientific method itself.

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Tok's made me question whether knowledge has been fabricated. Even these stories on the news, i'm starting to think some just aren't true and are there for the views 

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