At this stage in the course students know (and hopefully understand) the essay expectations. That is: how to write, structure and answer the question (see The Four Steps to Teaching A01 & A02 Effectively). What I am finding is lacking (and thus needs more work) is evaluation. Now this is no big surprise, since evaluation and analysis are the hardest techniques for students to grasp. Students soak up information, ideas and theories but struggle when it comes to thinking about what these theories are actually saying or implying.
So I have created this worksheet as a bank of ‘go to evaluation points’. These arguments have been selected due to there potential to be used in multiple different essay answers, not just the topic they are learnt in.
The aim of the activity is to ensure that the students:
- Know the different evaluative arguments by explaining the meaning in their own words.
- Are able to link these ideas to other philosophical topics. This involves thinking outside the box. For example linking the Big Bang to Aristotle by saying that through attraction to the Prime Mover the particles collided, causing the Big Bang or linking Aesthetic to Plato by arguing that we recognise and appreciate beauty, art, literature because of the Forms not evolution.
- Evaluate their evaluation – this is important to really analyse the success of points and essentially critique the question.
Note: I cover Dawkins, Epicurean, Evolution, Goldilocks, Anthropic, Aesthetic within Teleological topic. I cover Big Bang, God of Gaps and Burden of Proof (using YouTube video: Burden of Proof ) in Cosmological and Reductionist in Soul, Mind and Body.
I will set this activity for homework, with clear explanation and examples given in class. The reason for this is to ensure that students engage with these ideas themselves and to avoid the tendency to ask me if their answer is ‘right’. My aim is to show that all answers are ‘right’ if they are justified and explained fully. My expectation would be that all the boxes have something written in them (even if this involves further research and independent reading) but I would not expect all topics to be linked to every evaluation point.
For further guidance in developing your essay technique just click on the image below to download this product quickly and safely (for a small charge).
To view all available teacher and student materials click on: R.S Resources. This digital goods store will allow you to quickly and safely download all materials (for a small charge). These include PowerPoints, lesson packs (with all worksheets and activities) key knowledge test packs (with answers), essay writing skills pack, revision packs and much more. I am always uploading new materials (as and when I cover them with my students) so it is worth checking regularly. These are all the materials I use with my own students, so they are tried and tested and available for you to download, keep and adapt over the years.
Revision bubbles/ advice and sample questions with guidance found in: