For my practice TOK presentation, my partner Firda and I decided to do it on manipulation through religion. Our real-life situation was the seven things women can’t do in Saudi Arabia, and from there, we looked at how people manipulate religion through language and imagination.
I think our presentation went fairly well for a first try. Our question has an AOK in it and we answered it through WOK’s. We also gave examples of other real-life situations from other religions so that we do not appear biased towards one particular religion, and also to show that manipulation happens throughout a lot of other religions. My specific WOK that I looked at was language, and I thought I did quite well in looking at the ways it was manipulated, since I included quotes from the Quran and looked at both sides of the argument (pro-equality and anti-equality). I also felt that we gave a clear explanation on why we should care about this issue and connected it to events that are happening right now. Furthermore, we didn’t go over the time limit so that was good.
However, I also think that we had a lot to improve on. For one, I felt very nervous throughout the whole thing and I really need to work on my stage-fright. For the real thing, I should try to depend less on notes. I was attempting to not read off of them too much but by doing that, I ended up not including a lot of the stuff I wanted to say because I forgot. Secondly, I felt that my partner and I should have worked on it more together instead of separately. I think that our presentation was divided in that sense – I did language and my partner did imagination. We had no real idea if we agreed with what the other person was saying or if we thought the other could improve on something. In the end, one of our feedback was that one of our real life situations that my partner chose did not quite link back to the WOK. I think that if we discussed it more, we could’ve come to the same conclusion, but because we did it separately, I didn’t give her a lot of feedback and vice versa. Thirdly, I didn’t discover until later that we were only supposed to include our own opinions and experiences, so I think we included too many facts and philosophical views. Next time, I should think more about how to make the presentation a bit more personal than research-based, and also how to include more audience interaction because I felt we were lacking that. Lastly, I thought that we should’ve had a better conclusion because that was the part of our presentation that we didn’t have thoroughly planned and we ended on an unsure note.
As for meeting the criteria, we scored a 6-7 according to Mr Paterson. I felt that we had an okay knowledge question, although for the real presentation, I realise that the question should be broader and not include an AOK in it. Our knowledge question is connected to our real-life situation because we looked at how Saudi Arabian law is based on the Islamic Sharia law. We investigated the question and topic, though not as in-depth as I would’ve liked, and we did consider other people’s perspectives. In the end, we didn’t explicitly mention our knowledge question, but we included other real-life situations that proved our arguments. I personally thought the grade that we got was fair.
Overall, our first TOK presentation was a nice albeit difficult new experience. I think what we learned from this presentation would help us improve significantly in our real presentations.