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Best of the Week 2021-2022: Excellence in College Prep

IB JUNIORS HONOR "TOKTOBER" WITH INTERVIEWS & VISCERAL EXPERIENCES ABOUT KNOWLEDGE & LANGUAGE



This month, St. Ed's International Baccalaureate Diploma Program juniors have been hosting Theory of Knowledge (TOK) interviews, asking their teachers how they explore broad questions about knowledge within the arts, sciences, math and history. From English Department Chair Andy Allen talking about how perspectives, one of the four key "frames" for TOK courses, inform his IB Literature course to Dan Corcoran '07, Dean of Academics and Math Department Chair, sharing how ethics inform both his IB Math course and his life as a Varsity Football Coach, St. Ed's has participated in TOKtober, a small movement amongst IBDP schools to make TOK more intelligible to people who don't take the course. "We've done a huge push this year to support the DP teachers to emphasize this movement in their classes to enhance student creativity and critical thinking," says Nick Kuhar, Dean of Academics and IB Coordinator. "As we continue our TOKtober journey, we move to 'Language and Knowledge.'"

This week, IBDP juniors kicked off their unit by considering how labels impact an everyday, simple decision: "What do I eat today?" Half of the cohort was invited to eat a hot dog label as "Hebrew National Hot Dog," while the other half was invited to eat samples from a display that listed all the ingredients that go into a hot dog. "Ultimately, this was a visceral way to ask ourselves, 'How does the language we use to identify people, places and things impact how we respond to or choose to interact with those things?' Can language change knowledge and, in turn, change our behavior?" says Mr. Kuhar.

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