Saturday, September 26, 2009

Facet #4: Have Perspective

For me, the Facets start getting a bit more intriguing as they take on a more personalized feel to them.

The first three deal directly with information and a student's ability to retain it. While admittedly our role as teachers is to pass on information to our students, there are definitely less traditional manners of assessment we can employ in our curriculum. The concept of having perspective is an interesting educational goal to reach as it has the ability to connect with a student's personal beliefs and life.

So let's say I'm teaching at a High School located in the Pico/Union area of Downtown LA and decide to cover George Orwell's 1984 (Yes, another Orwell book!). Now, most of these students will have the benefit of having either been born or grow up here in the United States. However the majority of them though will have at least one direct or indirect familial connection with life outside of the U.S. Since this is a predominantly Central American neighborhood, most of my student's families will have some experience with Totalitarian Governments in their countries of old.

As we read through 1984, I'm sure that most of their parent's will eventually ask them about the book they are reading. I am more than certain that for some of those parents, the subject matter will resonate with them on numerous levels due to their background. Drawing from my own personal experience with my first read of this book, I recall my mother walking into my room and asking me about it. After filling her in, she candidly told me about life in El Salvador before and during its brutal Civil War (Circa 1980-92). While I could never fathom what life must have been like living under such political turmoil, I was able to connect with the book on a much deeper level.

While it could be pointed out that not all students will experience this, it is improbable to assume that they cannot establish a personal connection with whatever text they are assigned to. Each student has a unique set of experiences and there is no telling what sort of relationship they can create between themselves and the text. With that possibility in mind, students then have the potential of gaining insight into the literary worlds they encounter. Since perspective is defined as "having a meaningful interrelationship" (as per again), then us future educators tapping into this possibility will only lead to our students gaining a sense of perspective with our assignments. This would prove invaluable as they would then establish a personal connection with their education that could fuel future educational pursuits.

No comments:

Post a Comment