Course Title: Philosophy: Questions and Theories (Upgrade Course)
Course Code: HZT4U
Course Type: University Preparation
Prerequisite: Any university or university/college preparation course in social sciences and humanities, English, or Canadian and world studies
Tuition Fee (CAD): $499
This course enables students to acquire an understanding of the nature of philosophy and philosophical reasoning skills and to develop and apply their knowledge and skills while exploring specialized branches of philosophy (the course will cover at least three of the following branches: metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, philosophy of science, social and political philosophy, aesthetics). Students will develop critical thinking and philosophical reasoning skills as they formulate and evaluate arguments related to a variety of philosophical questions and theories. They will also develop research and inquiry skills related to the study and practice of philosophy.
Summary of Units and Timelines
Below is the suggested sequence of course unit delivery as well as the recommended number of hours to complete the respective unit. For complete details of targeted expectations within each unit and activity, please see each Unit Overview found in the course profile.
This course is designed to provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge as well as a development of an attitude that supports these skills and knowledge responsibly. The course design is geared to meet and exceed the prerequisite requirements for studying social sciences at the university level. The framework of course delivery focuses the four “big ideas “of social science curriculum outlined on pages 8-9 of the Ontario Ministry of Education document:
Unit Summative Timeline of Philosophy
Unit Summative Question of Metaphysics
Mid Semester Point
Unit Summative Ethical Dilemma Analysis
Political and Social Philosophy
Unit Summative Building a Utopia Presentation
Summative Media Analysis
Total 110 Hours
The organization of the course is packaged into five units which correspond with the Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9 to 12 Social Science document. However, one of the units has been redesigned to what the author considers a more logical flow of material as well as a progression of difficulty from a students’ perspective.
Teaching and Learning Strategies
Teachers will bring enthusiasm and varied teaching and assessment approaches to the classroom, addressing individual students’ needs and ensuring sound learning opportunities for every student. The activities offered should enable students to relate and apply these concepts to the social, environmental, and economical conditions and concerns of the world in which they live. Opportunities to relate knowledge and skills to these wider contexts will motivate students to learn in a meaningful way and to become life-long learners. Teachers will help students understand that problem solving of any kind often requires a considerable expenditure of time and energy and a good deal of perseverance. Teachers also will encourage students to investigate, to reason, to explore alternative solutions and to take the risks necessary to become successful problem solvers. Effective instructional approaches and learning activities draw on students’ prior knowledge, capture their interest, and encourage meaningful practice both inside and outside the classroom. Students will be engaged when they are able to see the connection between the mathematical concepts they are learning and their application in the world around them and in real-life situations. Due to its importance, students will have opportunities to learn in a variety of ways- individually, cooperatively, independently, with teacher direction, through hands-on experiences, and through examples followed by practice. The approaches and strategies teachers use will vary according to both the object of the learning and the needs of the students. Teachers will accomplish this in an on-line environment with the use of on-line simulations, animations, videos, discussion forums, live chat and other interactive objects.
Assessment & Evaluation for Student Achievement
As summarized in Growing Success 2010, the primary purpose of assessment and evaluation is to improve student learning. Information gathered through assessment helps teachers to determine students’ strengths and weaknesses in their achievement of the curriculum expectations in each course. This information also serves to guide teachers in adapting curriculum and instructional approaches to students’ needs and in assessing the overall effectiveness of programs and classroom practices. As part of assessment, teachers provide students with descriptive feedback that guides their efforts towards improvement. Evaluation refers to the process of judging the quality of student work on the basis of established criteria, and assigning a value to represent that quality. All curriculum expectations must be accounted for in instruction, but evaluation focuses on students’ achievement of the overall expectations. A students’ achievement of the overall expectations is evaluated on the basis of his or her achievement of related specific expectations. Teachers will use their professional judgement to determine which specific expectations should be used to evaluate achievement of overall expectations, and which ones will be covered in instruction and assessment but not necessarily evaluated. In order to ensure that assessment and evaluation are valid and reliable, and that they lead to the improvement of student learning, teachers must use assessment and evaluation strategies that:
The achievement chart for the social sciences outlines four categories of knowledge and skills. They include; knowledge and understanding, thinking and inquiry, communication, and application. Teachers will ensure that student work is assessed and/or evaluated in a balanced manner with respect to the four categories, and that achievement of particular expectations is considered within the appropriate categories. A final grade is recorded for this course, and a credit is granted and recorded for this course if the student’s grade is 50% or higher. The final grade for this course will be determined as follows:
All students can succeed. Some students are able, with certain accommodations, to participate in the regular course curriculum and to demonstrate learning independently. Accommodations allow access to the course without any changes to the knowledge and skills the student is expected to demonstrate. The accommodations required to facilitate the student’s learning can be identified by the teacher, but recommendations from a School Board generated Individual Education Plan (IEP) if available can also be consulted. Instruction based on principles of universal design and differentiated instruction focuses on the provision of accommodations to meet the diverse needs of learners. Examples of accommodations (but not limited to) include:
Teachers will bring additional resources and teaching materials that provide a rich and diverse learning environment. Units in this course profile make specific reference to several textbooks, websites, and classical texts.
Links and pdf files are provided with each lesson (as applicable). Excerpts are included from the following books:
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