This week, a provocative starting point for an inquiry on the theme of inventions.
r
As a warm-up, you might ask what these things have in common:
r
A clothes peg
A wheel
A computer
A gun
r
The answer being that they are all inventions.
r
Follow that up by displaying this statement.
r
We are inventions.
r
After some paired talk to see what people’s reactions and reasons are, continue the enquiry. Avenues that might be explored are:
r
  • Are we God’s invention?
  • Are invention and evolution opposites?
  • Are all inventions man-made?
  • How man-made are we?
  • What aspects of ourselves do we invent?
  • How far are human beings natural, and how far have we invented ourselves?
  • How much of us have our parents invented? What if a parent wanted their child to be a great tennis player, or pianist, and raised them accordingly? (Venus and Serena Williams, Judith Polgar or, in history, philosopher John Stuart Mill are interesting case studies for this).
r
The Power of Statements
r
I’m grateful to Nicodem from Marshlands Primary school for coming up with this powerful statement at the start of an enquiry where I’d intended to use Artificial Intelligence as a stimulus for discussing the ethics of inventing.
r
A provocative statement can be just as good a starting point for a discussion as a question. There’s something about a statement that invites pushback, especially if it controversial. ‘Putting into question’ is Idea 72 in Peter Worley’s new book, 100 Ideas for Primary Teachers: Questioning which looks excellent.
r
Best wishes,
r
Jason

1 Comment

  1. Kristie on March 15, 2022 at 12:27 am

    Good morning. Interestingly, this topic appeared in my dream last night as a website “weareinventions.com”. So when I woke up, I come to check if it is real. In my dream, the website is for a mysterious organization whose duty is to protect the world from all supernatural events and even aliens, because aliens are everywhere on our planet at that time. I’m an agent who found this secret website and tried to persuade the leader to let me join the organization. The leader told me that he came up with the name”We are inventions” because on the one hand he thinks all the members are chosen from millions of men, so they are inventions of the god. On the other hand,he thinks we are also inventions just like we think aliens are just some weird creatures or we can just say “inventions”.

Leave a Comment