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The following materials have been designed to help deliver Theory of Knowledge (TOK) in History at IB (International Baccalaureate) Level to my students at the International School of Toulouse.
As well as making regular reference to TOK issues within normal lessons, I also deliver three sessions of one hour each to all of Year 12 (whether or not they study history), and round the unit off by setting a relevant TOK essay title from the IB syllabus (these are provided annually in advance).
This session makes use of the following two video clips which illustrate the problem of the 'language gap' when trying to interpret historical sources:
[Student worksheet | Teacher notes]
This session makes use of the following two video clips, both of which demonstrate the danger of taking even 'documentary' evidence at face value:
This session makes use of the following two video clips which demonstrate the ideas of accidentalism and determinism respectively.
Observations: Leopold von Ranke's Historicism movement in the late 19th Century laid the framework for modern historiography. From the scientific methods of source analysis it promoted, historians quickly moved from describing "what" happened and towards a consideration of "why". In the late 20th Century, however, the postmodernists argued that Historicism was fundamentally flawed: all historical sources were both biased and incomplete so it was impossible to reach any valid conclusions. This created "The Crisis of History" which has called into question the whole validity of the discipline.
[click here for a printable version]
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Births (200 years ago today): 1819 – Edward Stafford, Scottish-New Zealand educator and politician, 3rd Prime Minister of New Zealand (d. 1901)
Births (100 years ago today): 1919 – Oleg Penkovsky, Russian colonel (d. 1963)
Births (50 years ago today): 1969 – Martín López-Zubero, American-Spanish swimmer and coach
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