Month: August 2017

InS 10: Resting place of 10 of the 47 Ronins

This is coming from one of my InS 10 students. The pictures were taken on the grounds of the Italian Embassy in Tokyo:

“The writing in Italian says: “On February 4th 1703 in this garden, 10 of the 47 ronins killed themselves. The R. (“Royal” because at the time there was still a monarchy in Italy) Ambassador Giacinto Avriti placed this memorial A.D. 1939. XVIII E.F. (Fascist Era – on the 18th year of Mussolini’s rule).”
The writing in Japanese, on the other hand, reads the names of the 10 ronins and a brief summary of the story.
The garden of the Italian Embassy is one of the most ancient in Tokyo. The territory was once home to the Shogun, Matsudaira Ōkinokami, before it was bought by the Italian government.
The trees within the garden allows us to date it all the way back to the XVII century.
During the Edo period, an interesting happening took place in the garden of Matsudaira’s residence: 10 of the 47 ronins killed themselves in 1703. This event is remembered in Japanese culture through the popular play, “Chūshingura“.
The killings took place where the pond now lays in the garden, as the ground was removed to create a small artificial hill where, in 1939, a commemorative stele of the event was erected by the Italian government.
Matsudaira’s property later passed to Prince Masayoshi Matsukata, a known politic of the Meiji period, who was Prime Minister twice.
A little after the events that took place in 1701 to 1702, such as the attack to a high shogunal official, Kira Kozukenosuke’s palace on December 15 1702, many theatrical plays began to circulate Japan. The plays narrated the past happenings, as theater at the time was a way of communicating events, usually dramatic, to the population.”

InS 9: Intro to Psych continued

Introduction to Psychology and the study of human behaviour.

Nature vs nurture discussion

  •  What did your nature vs. nurture activity tell you?
  • Did you disagree with your parents on some parts?
  • Can you come up with a general correlation or rule?
  • Why do we need to consider ethics when conducting psychological studies?

Part 2:

twin studies nature vs. nurture.

Watch the following clip on twins separated at birth, then answer the following questions:

  1. Looking at twin studies and what they tell us.   What conclusion can we make from studying twins? How does this relate to you?
  2. What unethical decision was responsible for the situation described in this video?
  3. Can you think of situation when it might be justified to be unethical in the pursuit of scientific knowledge of genetics or evolution?
  4. What is the most powerful evidence in this video that nature is more influential than nurture in explaining, predicting, or understanding human behavior?

Here is a more detailed video of the twin girls separated at birth.  Summarize the findings of twin studies and what they can tell us about the nature vs. nurture debate.

Next: In groups we will read about the psychology of human relationship and present the following answers to the rest of the class:

  • Group 1: Explain reading 8.1  and explain prosocial behaviour and altruism (.p.252) and answer Q1 on p. 253
  • Group 2:Explain reading 8.1 and explain prosocial behaviour and altruism (.p.252) and answer Q1 on p. 253
  • Group 3: Explain the Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis and answer Q2 on p. 254
  • Group 4:  Explain the Batson et al. study and the kin selection hypothesis and answer question 3 on p. 256

Hyperlink it here

InS 10: Introduction to Edo or Tokugawa Period – 1603-1868

As a preparation for your research essay on the Edo period, (will change) we will be discussing various issue related to the Edo era.

As we watch and discuss the various videos, think of possible research topics for your essay.

Example:

  • Role of the Samurai
  • Foreign influence
  • Matthew Perry
  • Bakufu military government
  • Art, fashion, ukiyo-e
  • Rule of law
  • “The Christian Problem”
  • Social Structure – Empror, Daimyos, shogunate, peasants,
  • Rituals and religion
  • The role of women
  • Entertainment
  • Geishas
  • Kabuki theater
  • Education
  • Battles to “pacify” the country

Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo, (The bodyguard) trailer and opening sequence:

  • How do these clips differ from the traditional view of the samurai?
  • Can you explain why the character is wandering aimlessly?
  • Do you know the story of the 47 Ronins? What does it say about the role of samurais in the Edo period?

Edo History

We will have discussions and guided questions after each videos. You will then have to write a short summary of each section for your notes, with a special section for possible themes you would like to research.

Share your notes here.

Guiding questions:
Clip 1:
  • What was the political situation in Japan before the Edo period?
  • What did foreigners want from contact with Japan?
Clip 2
  • What did you learn from the daily lives of Japanese people at the time?
  • Discuss the role of missionaries and the Daimyos who converted
  • Discuss the Samurai code of honor – What was their role in society?
Clip 3
  • Explain the concept of seppuku
  • Explain Oda Nobunaga’s role in raising Ieyasu and in Japanese politics at the time.

Clip 4:

  • Explain the downfall of Oda Nobunaga and the event that followed
  • Explain Hideyoshi’s rise to power and his ambitions
  • Explain how Ieyasu finally gained control over Edo
  • Can you explain the difference in strategies between Ieyasu and Hideyoshi?

Clip 5:

  • Explain the Dutch influence on Japanese Medecine and other sciences
  • Describe the foreigner’s interest with Japan, and the Japanese response to it.

Clip 6:

  • Explain Commodore Perry’s involvement in the opening up of Japan
  • How did Japanese people respond to the American influence?

Edo Social Structure

InS 10: What is History’s role in Society?

Part 1: History, what is it good for?

First we will read; A Point Of View: What is history’s role in society? and have a socratic debate about the definition and role of history in our lives. 

  • How do we research history?
  • How do we know what “really” happened in the past?
  • How can we evaluate the quality of our sources?
  • Is there value in “bad” sources?
  • How does history change over time?
  • How does history affect:
    • us
    • our community
    • our society
    • our global interactions?

Part 2: You will have to pick a topic for your upcoming project. Consider the many different perspectives in history and think of specific examples for each one:

  • Political history: the story of government, political leaders, electoral activities, the making of policy, and the interaction of branches of government
  • Diplomatic history: the study of the relations between nations, diplomats, and ideas of diplomacy
  • Social history: the study of ways and customs, of family, education, children, demography (population change), and voluntary institutions (churches, for example)
  • Cultural history: the study of language and its uses, of the arts and literature, sport, and entertainment, in constructing cultural categories
  • Economic history: the study of how an entire system of production and consumption (or of any of its parts) works, of markets, industry, credit, and working people at all levels of the system
  • Intellectual history: the study of ideology and epistemology, analyzing how ideas affect human actions and how the material world affects human ideas
  • People’s history:  history from below, or folk history is a type of historical narrative which attempts to account for historical events from the perspective of common people rather than political and other leaders.
  • Can you think of others?

Part 3: How do we analyse sources? 

  • Quick review from grade 9 InS: What is the difference between a primary and a secondary source?
  • Introduction using these sources with an extra P for Perspective!  See powerpoint

Exercise: Find a political cartoon from any time in history. Write an OPPVL for it. About 2-3 sentences per aspect. Print both for a gallery walk. 

 

Here is a more detailed description of an OPPVL

InS 9: Intro to Psychology

Introduction to Psychology and the study of human behavior.

What is the nature vs. nurture argument?

What is behavior?

What part of your behavior is based on:

  • your gender?
  • your parents?
  • your culture?
  • your friends?

Watch the BBC clip on gender stereotypes and discuss the questions above:

This came out just this week on the BBC

In pairs, summarize the findings of the Cambridge study in regards to adults and gender stereotyping, and the Hines study on monkeys and toy preferences. You will then explain it to another partner.  

Then, watch the BBC short documentary on Eugenics and sport.

What is one possible explanation for the dominance of black athletes in sprint events? Why is this a dangerous and/or erroneous assumption to make?

Write a blogpost explaining your understanding of the Nature VS Nurture debate. Using examples, give your opinion on the theme. Is our behaviour dictated by our genes or our environment?
Post your blogpost link here

Homework:

Using the Nature vs. Nurture (handout), read the arguments and then fill out the chart on the back, and check with your family tonight on whether or not they agree with you, and please bring your sheet completed next class, ready to discuss your answers.

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