1. Getting Started
You will work in groups of 3 or 4 over the next weeks to complete a Philosophy project and present it to class as your summative assessment.
The key thing will be choosing an appropriate philosophical question. You can choose from some of the questions you have generated this year or create a new one.
Do we have free will?
Should we try to escape reality?
Should people be permitted to vote if they don't fully understand what they are voting for?
If honesty was a Leaving Cert subject, would anyone get 100%?
Is it possible for a human to love a machine?
With robots, is a life without work one we'd want to live?
Has technology disrupted the truth?
Do you need faith to give your life meaning?
Should we always put human rights first?
Can we trust our senses? How do we know what is real?
Should we be able to say whatever we want?
Should we care about the world?
Should parents be able to create "ideal" future children with new fertility advancements? (gene editing, IVG..)
2. Research: Once you have picked a question the next step is to start doing some research. You will need to find out a bit about the history of the question. Who has tried to answer this in the past? What did they say? What arguments did they use? Philosophy is all about arguments. Sometimes it is difficult to construct your own arguments so finding arguments other people/philosophers have created can help.
When you are doing your research use a variety of sources. Most of you will look online but have a think about other sources. Talk to your family, friends or teachers ( especially the science teacher ! ) and find a range of opinions on the question you have chosen. Look at music, poetry, magazine articles, newspapers, adverts.
As soon as you start to find sources, make notes. DON'T use other other people's words ie no copy and paste! ( apart from quotations )
Include proper references and bibliography. Think about research like a jigsaw. First you need to get all the pieces onto the table, look at them and try to fit them together. You can write up your research as a story on a powerpoint, prezi or some digital presentation. You will present your findings as a group to the class and your aim is to teach us something new.
3. Your arguments : No one can tell you the answers to your question. You have to think for yourselves. Once you write up and present your research, you will need to write down a philosophical discussion. It can be hard to know what to think and sometimes the more you read, the more confusing it becomes! So sit down in your group and try to explain your ideas. You want to be able to explain;
- Your own opinion - what do you think the answer to your question is?
- Your reasons for your opinion - why do you believe it?
- What arguments are against your point of view?
- Can you answer the arguments?
So get stuck into the argument. Tell the class what your views are. You can write an essay, use images, short videos and any creative digital tool to tell your project.
4. The end and the beginning
The next step is to round off your project with a conclusion and introduction. The conclusion should be a short summary of what you have been trying to say as a group.
The introduction sets the scene - you can use a thought experiment, a story, a video, an image too draw the class in. Use it to explain why you chose this question. You might be surprised that the introduction isn't the first thing you write. But you can't write an introduction until you know what the project is going to be about. Don't forget to edit the project and throw out any irrelevant material.
FOUR ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
A. Expression, presentation, organisation
B. Knowledge and Understanding
C. Identification and analysis of relevant material
D. Collaboration, working together
Student's presentations Summer 2015