05/08/2022 • 5 min read
Webinar: Ethics as a unit of work: Using ethical theories to explore real-life situations, case studies and examples
Why Ethics in ToK?
From the ToK Curriculum Review 2019: “There was strong support among the review team for making engagement with ethics compulsory, particularly given the mission of the IB. However, it was felt that the most effective way to engage students with ethics in TOK would be to infuse it throughout the course. It is hoped that this change will increase engagement with ethics, by making it a high-profile compulsory part of all elements of the course.”
From the ToK Transition Support Material: “Compulsory engagement with ethics. This is a shift from having ethics as a standalone optional area of knowledge to having ethics as a requirement within every part of the course. This makes ethics compulsory for all students”
From the ToK Guide p.13 : “It is crucial that TOK discussions about ethics focus on the knowledge questions that are woven into, and implied, in the ethical issues being discussed, rather than the focus being on debating the ethical issues themselves.”
Inn this webinar, we consider how we can construct a stand-alone unit of work on Ethics in ToK which will allow us to compare and contrast the considerations and conclusions that four major ethical theories would arrive at regarding a range of real life situations, case studies and objects in the different optional themes and areas of knowledge, allowing the students to move beyond the idea that ethics is to do with moral judgement, a frequent pitfall for students in essays and presentations/exhibitions, and towards a more profound understanding that ethics is about the systematization of principles (HOW can we decide WHAT to do?).
About the host: David Spooner
David Spooner has been teaching TOK since 1999, in a variety of countries including Ghana, the UK, Spain, Finland, Greece, Lebanon, Jordan and Italy. He has been an IB workshop leader since 2004, and has a range of examining experience. In addition to this, he is an IB Verification Visitor and Consultant for schools wishing to adopt the IB Diploma. When he is not indulging his passions of travelling, rock-climbing, hiking, photography or lying on a beach doing nothing, he enjoys teaching.
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