WHAT DOES GP OFFER YOU/ (AIMS)
It will develop you by:
Providing the opportunity to acquire disciplined and scholarly research skills
Promoting a critical, questioning approach to information
Encouraging reflective and independent thought
Encouraging an understanding of and engagement with some key global issues that you will face wherever you may live and work
Encouraging awareness, understanding and respect for different perspectives on global issues
Encouraging an interdisciplinary approach to global issues.
It will broaden your understanding, empathy and tolerance and encourage you to develop, scrutinize and present your own points of view with confidence.
WHAT ARE YOUR OBJECTIVES? (What should you learn or acquire for assessment?)
You should be able to:
Communicate a logical argument
Engage with different perspectives and show any relationships between them
Develop a line of reasoning based on supporting evidence
Express a relevant perspective
Evaluate your own perspective
Present convincing and well-supported conclusions that answer the question posed.
WHICH SKILLS WILL YOU DEVELOP?
Analyzing and making judgements about different views and arguments
Researching important issues of global significance
Communicating arguments in different ways
Considering and reflecting on the implications of and consequences of judgements.
Empathising with others and understanding and respecting a variety of view on global issues
Articulating and communicating a personal perspective that builds on skills of interpreting, evaluating and assessing evidence.
WHAT IS A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE?
It is your own view, but it is a considered, informed view (considered in the light of all your acquired knowledge on the topic)
It should be supported by your observations of the evidence; not just the facts of the case, but also the cultural and social significance of any relevant knowledge or value within the perspective.
You will develop a critical view of your own perspective which Is itself likely to be influenced by the values of your own culture. Thus, you will gain a context to your home culture, but also learn to demonstrate sympathy and empathy.
Remember that you will follow the “Critical Path” on this journey!
THE PROCESS OF DECONSTRUCTION
Hand out article on biofuels as the topic for investigations.
INTRODUCTORY QUESTION: What do you know in general about biofuels? Encourage students to continually keep notes.
Which themes or topics would biofuels come under? Motivate your anwer.
Ethical (Food or Fuel – what is more important?)Technological – The role and place of genetic engineering?
Economic – Which costs may biofuels hide?
Environmental – biofuels and global climate change?
Political and cultural – does the question of control by food have relevance?
QUESTIONS TO ANSWER IN YOUR INVESTIGATION:
In what ways are biofuels of global importance? Why?
What do you think are the main issues involved in biofuels?
At this stage (prior to thorough research) can you identify any different perspectives on the issue?
Is it right to turn rainforest into maize fields so that we can keep on driving our cars?
Is it ever ok to use food for fuel instead of for feeding people?
Are all biofuels the same/ How much do the differences matter?
HELPFUL WEBSITE AND TALKS TO WATCH AND RESEARCH:
http://video.ted.com/talk/podcastSpeakers and topics to watch:
James Hansen – Why I must speak about climate change
Jonathan Foley – The other inconvenient truth
Cesar Harada – A novel Idea for cleaning up oils spills
Garth Lewz – The true cost of oil
WHAT ELEMENTS OR COMPONENTS WOULD WE USE IN THE DECONSTRUCTION OF AN ARGUMENT?
DEFINITION OF ARGUMENT:
It is an effort to justify a particular conclusion. The justification should be strong enough to persuade others that the conclusion is the correct one.
It is using reasons to support a point of view so that know or unknown audiences may be persuaded to agree.
An overall argument presents the author’s position.
Q. What are the elements of an argument?
A. Every argument consists of a premise (s) and a conclusion.
Q. What is a premise?
A. It is a particular statement that provides the reasons or evidence supporting the conclusion.
Q. What is a conclusion?
A. The conclusion is the position you are arguing for. It is the end point of reasoning. The conclusion should normally relate closely to the author’s main position. In critical thinking it is usually a deduction drawn from the reasons or evidence.
Words that may be associated or identified with a premise are since, because, as, for, given that, assuming that.
Words that may be associated or identified with a conclusion are thus, therefore, hence, so, it follows that, we may conclude that.
The same claim may be used as either a premise or a conclusion.
CONSTRUCTING AN ARGUMENT
Step 1: you should know what you are going to be arguing for. This is called the thesis. In other words, what conclusion are you going to defend? During this step you will need to research varying positions on your topic before you can fully determine this.
Step 2: Determine your premise. This means, what are the reasons or evidence that will support your thesis or conclusion.
Step 3: Selecting the evidence. Remember you are looking for different types of evidence that will support your position. This may include measurements, statistics, authority, reasoning, observation and experience. You should consider the strengths and weaknesses (limits) of the different types of evidence before choosing what to include.
e.g. Which types or pieces of evidence are available?
What type of evidence is most appropriate for the topic?
How do the different pieces of evidence support each other?
Identify the strongest and the weakest. You can make or break your argument because arguments rely on premises or evidence about what is known in order to draw conclusions about the unknown.
Step 4: Once you have found or seleted your evidence, you have to organize it. The manner in which your evidence is organized will determine the type of your argument.
An argument is strong if it convinces the audience (readers) that the conclusion is correct.
An argument is strong when it is supported by convincing and objective evidence.
An argument will be balanced when it considers all the various perspectives and reaches a reasonable conclusion based on those perspectives.
An argument will be regarded as logical when it is clearly and consistently reasoned [when the reasoning used is clear and without inconsistencies]. It should be free from logical fallacies, which are errors of logic.
An argument is weak if there are gaps or bad connections between the premises as it will undermine their support of and relationship to the conclusion.
TYPES OF ARGUMENT
Notes on argument:
Arguments are stronger and more persuasive when stronger and well-developed. Rather use a few strong ones than many weaker and undeveloped ones.
Explain how each piece of evidence supports your conclusion. Also explain the credibility of each piece of evidence.
Explain and include the strongest points at the beginning and end of your argument as this strategy is generally more effective.
Emotional arguments play on and to the heart and generally rely on connotative language and sensationalism.
Logical arguments aim to persuade the audience by the construction of a rational argument that appeals to the intelligence. It uses comparisons, analogies, theories, facts and research findings which are assembled as evidence to support the claim being made.