Midterm Reflection

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Chap 3 Course Companion Study/Action Guide

A. “Divergent”
a. Out of all the possible topics or ideas regarding knowledge, what have the authors selected to give you?
The author of this book, Veronica Roth, decides to share the idea of how our society, in a last attempt at fixing its inability to develop a well-rounded wholesome society inhabited by the “complete” human being, the United States (in a futuristic world) has a created an experimental society where people are divided into “factions”, each one representing a human quality that essential for the function of a perfect society. The five factions: Amity (kindness), Candor (honesty), Abnegation (selflessness), Erudite (knowledge), and Dauntless (bravery) are representative of man kind’s want and strive to always create the more perfect society and human being. What the author has shown through this book however, is that we are never just one quality, but deep down we all have these characteristics and that society is often times responsible for burying them deep within us so that socially and culturally we had these particular qualities.
b. Out of those topics and ideas treated, what have they emphasized, and how?
The author emphasizes that knowledge can be dangerous and the need to know causes people to make choices in which they have not considered the welfare or safety of others. Specifically in the book, the Erudite faction attempts to take over the other factions to prevent a particular piece of knowledge from escaping to the public. The faction’s need to know this information that was so vital caused them to attempt and overtake, killing hundreds of innocent people in the process.
c. What kind of language have they used, and what emotions or values do you identify in the word choice? What images accompany the text, and how are they selected and used?
The language choice of the book shows the sort of dictatorial ways of each faction and the strict rules that are implemented into societal ways. Words like “supersede” or “threatening” and phrases like “can’t defy the norms” or “curiosity is a mistake, a betrayal” all aid to the image of a highly enforced society where those that sidestep the rules suffer brutally and fall victim to harsh punishment.
d. What is the context in which the book was written – by whom, for what purpose…?
The book was written from the perspective of a 16 year old girl named Beatrice (Tris). She was born and raised in the Abnegation faction, but when it came time for her to choose which faction she would live the rest of her life in (during the “Choosing Ceremony”), she chose Dauntless instead. What is special about this girl however is that she was not predestined for any one faction in particular, which most people are. This condition is called Divergent and it is a dangerous position to be in because Tris poses a threat to society because she is a much more “complete” or whole individual instead of being inclined to one characteristic. The purpose of having Tris as a narrator is that she provides insight into her much more holistic view of society and how it functions. It allows the reader to understand things from a special individual who can see things in an open-minded fashion.
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B. What are your thoughts about the sanctity of books and how did you arrive to your decision?
I think books are really just containers to hold all of our credited ideas and creations and nothing more. Books do not have some form of a divine right in this world, but are simply things in which read from and remember. The real knowledge isn’t in the book, but rather in the person who wrote the book and it was simply said person’s idea to share this knowledge in a printed, published form. It is undeniable and naïve to argue against the fact that books do contain knowledge in which we can learn from and that they are sources of learning in themselves, however, they are simply the microphone for which the author speaks into and what is important to hear is the sound that he/she makes. I came about this opinion because I value the power of human knowledge and teachers greater than any form of literary work. Someone’s ability to know doesn’t come from the notion that they have accumulated this vast amount of knowledge by reading a book, but rather by experiencing, listening or seeing with their own eyes that what is they know. To me books are really nothing more than a gateway into the mind of an author who possess the knowledge.
Do books really “hold learning”?
There is no doubt that books teach us things and that we can learn things from their words, however, to say that they “hold learning” is to hint that they are our one and true source for knowledge and that they possess some sort of “god complex”. One thing that is very apparent is that in this age of technologies it has allowed for the reintroduction of the orally passed knowledge and as Pettit would say “a move forward into the past.” We now have the ability to share what we know through just a click at the tip of our fingers. The prestige of books once held so very rigid is now changing as the value of books themselves is seemingly disappearing right before our eyes. So yes I do believe that we are beginning to overlook the ability of books to teach, but at the same time our world is developing into a library of different sources for knowledge, so much so that books are no longer the main source of knowledge.
How would you rate where you get knowledge – media (various), books, teachers, family, friends, celebrities, etc.? (draw a continuum or explain)
The way I would rate my knowledge sources from most reliable to least would be:
1. Books: not because all books are reliable, but that if they are published and printed, it means that others also are learning the same thing and therefore if we are all told the same thing, then how can one be wrong and other be right.
2. Teachers: opinion could of course influence the manner in which a person teaches however, what they teach, most of it comes from books and therefore the curriculum has already been accepted by a greater amount of people
3. Media: although often times can be false, the media is not a bad source of knowledge. The news or credited site updates can give us quick insights onto what is happening and why it has happened.
4. Family: when it comes to advice or knowledge about politics, the family is a reliable source because especially parents, who have been around a long time and are more inclined to educate themselves about worldly affairs can offer some reliable insight.
5. Friends: when it comes to knowing what is happening in the digital age and with the latest celebrity drama, my friends are a good source simply because they are more inclined to know this particular knowledge
C. Over this past summer I took part in an upper level Pony Club (a renowned equestrian organization) testing called the H-B. This basically means that it was a test only on the candidate’s horse management skills at the second highest level of knowledge in Pony Club (the H-A being the highest level is similar to veterinarian level knowledge). In order to relate this to the five stages of knowledge, I would like to say that the first stage (introduction) would like just hearing about or begin to learn about how to properly bandage a minor wound (one process the candidate had to know for the test). The second stage would be learning the steps involved and all of the first aid supplies that will be needed to do it properly. The third stage and fourth stage would be knowing everything there is to know about how to properly bandage a minor wound and being able to relate it perfectly to the testing examiner. The fifth stage however, would be experiencing a minor would and being able to use this knowledge of how to bandage properly on the wounded area in order to do it correctly. This experience is what really defines ones transition into the fifth stage of knowledge.
D. Examples of my experimental knowledge:
• I know not to put my hair in fans
• I know not to stick my fingers into Christmas light sockets
• I know what scares horses and what doesn’t
Examples of my procedural knowledge:
• I know how to play soccer, basketball
• I know how to tie a quick release knot
• I know how to tack a horse up properly
Knowledge claim
I know that “i before e except after c”
I think that experimental knowledge is the easiest to learn because once it happens, it may leave some sort of impact that will help you remember how to do something for a long time. On the other hand, I think that procedural knowledge, while being more difficult to learn, lasts a longer time because once you realize how to do it, and you practice it over and over (whether it be on a daily basis or not), the skill will stay with you subconsciously for a long time.
E. Which theory do you think best applies to our IB program? Which theory do you find most helpful as a style of learning?
I think cognitivism is most in line to how the IB program is structured simply because there is a huge emphasis put on one’s mind and thought process and many of the components of the IB teach students how to use their thought process to its full potential and how to use it correctly.
In order of which theory is most helpful/effective as a style of learning, I would have to say social constructivism. This is a combination of constructivism, which is sort of a growth mindset theory that allows us to continue building onto our pool of knowledge without end. However, this particular theory also as the social component into it which allows for the use of collaboration as a way to continue constructing social skills as a result of interactions between individuals.
F. Knowing the different types of memory
Procedural memory: memory for the performance of a particular type of actions, it is a long-term memory that is created through procedural learning where the action is repeated over and over until finally it becomes a subconscious action.
Working memory: associated with short term memory, responsible for holding transitory information in the mind where it can be manipulated. Includes subsystems that help manipulate visual images or verbal information; associated with frontal cortex and partial cortex
Long-term memory: memory in which associations among items are stored, and usually lasts indefinitely. The three process: encoding, storage and retrieval with encoding of it in medial temporal lobe.
Declarative memory: 2nd type of long term memory, the type which can consciously be recalled such as facts and knowledge
Episodic memory: 1st type of declarative memory, relating to autobiographical events that can be stated, usually relating to personal experiences that occurred in particular time and place
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H. What is the difference between being sincere and being right? What is the difference between making a false statement and lying?
Being sincere means that someone can truly mean what they are saying, whether it be wrong or right. They are genuine and their statements are with true emotion, however, they may be incorrect in what they are saying. Someone may be right about something, yet they say it with so little conviction that it seems they are not very sincere in what they are saying. Therefore the relationship being sincere and being right is interchangeable because there can be both yet, there can also be one without the other.
The difference between making a false statement and lying is that someone can make a false statement simply because they are misinformed, uneducated or naïve about a particular topic. Lying is done with intention and is deliberate, usually used for self-benefit.
I.In math, the two biggest justifications of belief that are used are probably reasoning and memory. We use reasoning in order to find solutions that we believe are correct, based off of logic or the following of another’s thinking. We also use the memory of past experiences to carry on the justification of the problem’s answer.
In English, much of the justifying done is through a reliable source that can be cited and is trustworthy. However, sometimes emotions are involved especially if we happen to take part in an in-class discussion or debate. Emotions may drive us to justify our points and support our ideas.
In biology, the two that are most commonly used are reasoning and observation. Reasoning is used to help make decisions or predictions based off of previous knowledge been gathered. Observation is used to during labs when the experimenter physically sees a particular reaction and there for uses that as justification.
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K. Recently I learned that in Amsterdam, employers are allowed to hire alcoholics in rehab and pay them in beer.
Sources: I read this in the Star Advertiser Newspaper and like most newspapers, the source does not have any means for deception, merely with a point to inform and spread knowledge about current events. This newspaper has a reputation for being honest and accurate and the person who wrote the article didn’t need to be an expert on the subject, but rather gathered the information from experts. I’m sure if you were to look for other sources that had written upon the same topic, you would be able to find a similar story as well.
Statements: The context in which the article was written seemed to have been with a goal of simply informing others of the current situation in Amsterdam. Although there is not an opening statement of the writer’s background or goal, there is substantial evidence, an eyewitness testimony included, to support the claims that are being made. Finally, I am unaware if there were any graphs or visuals to include in the article, but I do know that all the claims that are made in the writing are consistent and coherent with each other.
Self: I may be inclined to accept or feel trust towards the newspaper simply because it has been so reliable in the past, but I have also through past experience found that I my early judgments on the validity and trustworthiness of a source are seemingly correct and therefore I again, feel incline to trust the source. Also I have no real emotional or personal connection with the topic, I simply just read it out of pure interest and therefore have no predestined want or need to believe what I am reading is the truth.