What makes us humans? A transdisciplinary investigation about human nature

Over the past few weeks, our Year 5 class has been delving into the question of what makes us human and what sets us apart from other beings. We have been considering this question from a variety of perspectives, including scientific, philosophical, historical, and artistic points of view.

One of the scientific topics we have been studying is DNA and the potential for modifying it using new technologies such as CRISPR-Cas9. We have also been discussing ethical questions related to decision-making in difficult situations, using a platform called “Moral Machines” developed by MIT. After using the Moral Machines platform, a thought-provoquing conversation unfolded- could artificial intelligence make moral choices without the capacity for emotions?

In addition to these scientific and ethical discussions, we have also been studying the concept of “change” in human beings. We have been exploring how our behavior, learning, and interpretation of reality may change as we age. As part of this, we read the poem “The Seven Ages of Man” in English class.

The IB methodology encourages the transfer of ideas from one discipline to another, and the use of concepts such as “change” to promote more complex and abstract thinking. Through this transdisciplinary study, we have been able to reflect on human nature in increasingly sophisticated ways.

As parents, you can be proud of the deep thinking and reflection your children have been doing. They are not just acquiring knowledge but also developing critical thinking skills that will serve them well in their future studies and in life.