Knowledge & Inquiry

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“We know very little, and yet it is astonishing that we know so much, and still more astonishing that so little knowledge can give us so much power.”  Bertrand Russell

Knowledge and Inquiry is a subject that focuses on the nature of knowledge and its construction in areas such as the sciences, the social sciences, and the aesthetics. Its application also requires higher-order critical thinking skills to analyse information and arguments for logic and validity. A key component of the KI course is the writing of an Independent Study, where individual students propose and write a research topic, in fulfillment of the course requirements.

In NJC, KI is taught seminar-style, inspired by the agora, or marketplace, the centre of artistic, spiritual and philosophical life in the ancient city of Athens. Each lesson is a round-table dialogue of different perspectives based on well-founded theories of past and present philosophers. Students drive the pace and coverage of the lessons through self-study and regulation, and engage with each other through Socratic questioning.