I’ve just posted “Definitely not the Olympics!” in my parallel blog for students, using the Olympics (and my own utterly non-Olympic experience) to raise some knowledge question about the interaction of kinds of knowledge and ways of knowing.  Have you also brought the Sochi Games into TOK?

The Olympics certain provide some splendid examples of gaining knowledge (what kind? gained how?) and testing it in practice and demonstration.  Playing a short video clip of aerial skiing, slope style snowboarding, or ice dancing could launch class discussion that covers the TOK map and knits together threads that the course disentangles for purposes of discussion.Eileen wipeout

My own emphasis on “wipe-outs” — those moments of failing (sometimes spectacularly) to gain or apply knowledge — is simply a personal sense of humour that works in my own classroom. Students who would be embarrassed to talk about their successes for fear of being thought to brag are likely to respond, with gusto, with tales of their own metaphorical belly flops.  Others who would be embarrassed to talk about their failures for fear of losing the good opinion of their classmates often talk very openly about flops in the process of learning.  Knowledge, after all, is often most entertaining when it’s actively in process.