Welcome to the TOK Exchange.

The York School and American School of Valencia TOK collaborative wiki!


About the participating schools:



You have been hired by an NGO (non-governmental organization) called the Organization of Truth, Beauty and Ethics. The organization is concerned about an unfortunate tribe in the depths of the Amazonian jungle. The organization is most interested in allowing the tribe to flourish as a community of beauty, truth, and ethical behaviour. The tribe has had no contact with the outside world, but will, in the next 3 to 5 years, be confronted by one of a number of Brazilian companies that will want to negotiate with them to take over the bulk of their hunting grounds and remove the forests of hardwoods to be used to build expensive furniture for rich American families in the United States. The tribe wars frequently with neighbouring tribes, and practices cannibalism when it comes to their enemies. They also practice infanticide when crops don't turn out so well. Their grasp of art only extends to fertility symbols - small chiseled representations of pregnant women. Their only music is battle drumming to get the youth angry enough to go out and kill other tribes. Their weaponry consists of bows and arrows and spears.

The organization wants you to go in and set up a small school for children from age 4 to 16. There is no electricity and batteries are too heavy for the trek in - a five-day hike. You can carry only one map (other than the one you have to show you the way there). You can only manage three pieces of art. And you can only carry in a small musical instrument and two works of literature. Before going, you would have time to research art, music and anything else you think you might need.

You must decide what history, geography, languages, ethics, literature and art they should learn. In other words, indicate whose history they should learn, and with what lessons about history, what map you will put up on the wall and what will be on it (consider http://www.worldmapper.org/index.html ),what artwork you will put on the walls (consider http://www.museodelprado.es/es/bienvenido/ or http://www.museothyssen.org/thyssen_ing/home.html or http://www.gallery.ca/ or http://cybermuse.beaux-arts.ca/cybermuse/home_e.jsp?id=from_eng ), what other language you will teach them (you only have time to teach two, other than their local language), what pieces of literature you will take along , what musical instrument you will bring, what type of music you will teach them, and what you will teach them about their practices of warring, infanticide, and cannibalism.

• You must provide a rationale for your choices.
• Also, the Organization wants your advice as to whether intervening in the lives of the tribes is a morally correct action, giving reasons for your opinion.

Good luck - and avoid the shrunken-head stew!

Criteria for choosing the winning project:

The Organization of Truth, Beauty and Ethics will award the contract to the group that provides a written plan that:

i) is coherent, compelling, and clear,

ii) is fully justified and supported by helpful explanations,

iii) explores and evaluates possible counterarguments,

iv) considers different perspectives,

v) demonstrates independent thinking about relevant knowledge issues,

vi) is between 800 and 1200 words and includes visuals,

vii) involves input from all members of the group.