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Posts Tagged ‘perspective

If I was conducting a workshop on pedagogical change, I might start it by showing the video embedded in the tweet above.

Participants would invariably offer different answers to my question: What does this video have anything to do with pedagogical change?

I might then guide them to the importance of not making hasty decisions due to a lack of perspective.

It takes effort to get a new perspective. Sometimes the effort is quick and easy while other times it takes a marathon. It is easier if one is able to balance a systemic view and necessary nuance.

This is where having an outsider’s or learner’s perspective is crucial. When you are too close to a problem you often cannot see it perched right on your nose.
 

Some might say that the YouTube video below is a good example of combining science and art.


Video source

I agree. I would also add that such a combination creates perspective. This could mean helping us see what we could not before or seeing something unexpected as a result of the combination.

What we see projected as a shadow is another subtle message — there is one entity with severals sides, each of which is only apparent when we make the effort to change the perspective.

This tweet is a good reminder on the dangers of not taking someone else’s perspective.

If you followed the instructions exactly, one side of the staircase would be crowded with people running into each other.

One might imagine an unimaginative administrator trying to prevent staircase fatalities by first walking to the base of one. The administrator then looks up and sees two imaginary lanes, left and right, and constructs the instructions based on that perspective.

However, the users of staircases only share that perspective half the time, i.e., when they are walking up. The other half of the time, they are walking down.

If the administrator took a staircase user’s perspective, the instruction might simply be “Keep to your right on the staircase”. This would work for people walking up or down.
 

 
I make this seemingly trivial point because it is not trivial at all. In the broader scheme of things, taking the perspective of people we work for, with, and serve are important.

In the context of teaching, it is critical that teachers as content experts see the difficulties of learning that content from the perspective of novice learners. If they do not, they might teach in ways that make as much sense as the staircase sign.

If I had to guess, most neutrals reading my tweets and blog entries might think I am being negative or even alarmist.

I am neither. I am just providing critical responses to uncritical reports, uninformed newspaper journalists, snake oil vendors, etc.

Why do this? I have two views. One is this.
 

Broken bridge 1 by novellino09, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  novellino09 

 
I have travelled ahead and I see that the bridge is out. It is my responsibility to tell you not to take that route. I will use strong words and I might even try to block you. But it is up to you whether to continue on that path.

My other view is this.

Empire State Pigeon by ZeroOne, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  ZeroOne 

 

On certain matters, I have a bird’s eye view. This means I can see the bigger or different picture, and I can make out details even from a distance.

If I can help you see something you cannot, why would you not want me to point it out? If I can see that the bridge is out, do I not have a duty to inform?

So go ahead, dull your senses, and call me negative or alarmist. Just know this: If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Words do not matter; actions do.


Video source

BuzzFeed’s videos are designed more to entertain than to inform even when they claim to be factual.

That said, I can relate to the problems highlighted in the video because I am a leftie. However, most of the problems can be solved quite easily by adapting to the circumstances.

If you want to avoid bumping elbows, switch seats. If a pen is tethered to the right, bring your own. If ring binders get in the way of writing, remove the paper.

You do not need to change the world. You need only change your expectations and behaviour. Like the saying goes: Don’t sweat the small stuff.

For the bigger things, you have retailers that make leftie baseball gloves and guitars. You have lefties with leftie shops selling leftie pens, can openers, scissors, etc.

Whether something is a big problem or not is often a matter of perspective. Some, like first world problems, are trivial and can be ignored. Some only need a change in individual behaviour. It is the big and important problems whose solutions serve many people that are we should focus on.


Video source

I love OK Go‘s latest music video. It is based on optical illusions to trick the eye into seeing what is not quite there.

I would remind outsiders looking into the ICT scene in Singapore schools that all they read and watch is not what they seem.

I am responding to reputable groups like Edutopia’s video feature of Ngee Ann Secondary School and Hechinger Report of ICT in Singapore.

A while ago, I responded to the video by simply stating that “one school does not a system make”. As for the article, I tweeted:

I am not saying that our ICT use or integration is a false illusion. There certainly are some very good examples here. But when observers and policymakers go off on tangents, make generalizations, or make claims with poor foundations, I cannot stand idly by.


Video source

Most people would agree that it helps to get some other perspective when you have a problem.

Others will flatly refuse because of fear, pride, or ignorance.

This video hits the nail on the head by speaking to both parties.


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