Experiental knowledge

Timing – 45 minutes in total

Goals and objectives:

The students will be able to:

-Develop/extend TOK vocabulary

– Adopt new understanding of importance of knowledge

Opening – 10 minutes

They like to talk. They like to be asked. They like to offer so interesting answers! I`m talking about my students, of course. And it seems that a discussion about experiental knowledge might be very interesting for them.  We already talked about personal and shared knowledge, about “I know” knowledge and “we know because it was shared among” knowledge. But we didn` talk about knowledge that consists of direct experience component and the component of reflection.

At the beginning  of the class I ask them are they able to sum all of their life experience in a single text or an explanation? How many pages would it take to create a book of such an explanation?  Their answers are always interesting for further reflection.

Developing – 35 minutes

This part of the class starts with the story of the first philosophers in ancient Greece who we call “the first physicians” . The aim of said is not to go deep into philosophy, rather to explain to them how amazing were some people in the ancient past, who wanted to discover what was the first (the first principle of creation, the first element) and how different was the beginning of physics compering with the modern physics. An explanation about Tales, Anaximenes, Anaximander, Heraclites, Democrites and other presocratic philosophers knowledge-is-limited-wallpapers_31089_1366x768should be shorter in comparison with typical philosophical explanations. The accent in TOK is not on philosophy although we welcome philosophical thoughts when on classes of TOK. The objective in this part of lesson development is to indroduce them with an application of experience in the first theories who offered fertile soil for later foundation and development of other sciences. In addition to this explanation students may watch a video of Murray Gell – Mann`s TED talk and after watching the video, they may give comments on it. They are also asked it is possible to construct personal knowledge (that might become a part of shared knowledge) without an involvement of personal experience so as reflection later on?

Closure – 10 minutes

This is a time for class activity. Students are ask to think for few minutes about one experience that happened in their life and then to explain the role of that experience in constructing of their personal knowledge.

Resources used on a class and for homework:

Students are  advised to read an article “Life experiences are critically important” for homework.


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