Digging Deeper—Thinking from a Different Perspective Princess Anne Middle School Instructional Strategy of the Month October 2012
Introduction What does “understanding another person’s perspective” mean? How does understanding someone’s point-of-view help with collaboration? What influences someone’s perspective on an issue? Why do some students have difficulty understanding other points-of-view?
Goals Identify and practice strategies to assist students in recognizing various perspectives on a topic or issue. Reflect on current educational practice.
How do you examine perspective? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65Su8wpmFu8&feature=related Watch this video clip and decide how you would have your students examine the possible points of view involved. How do you determine perspective?
Determining Perspective • When a major concern or “issue” needs to be addressed, various points of view ought to be considered. The position that we take on an issue is influenced by our perspective which is derived from: • cultural, economic, social, and political background • ethnic, education and religious background • life experiences • subjective opinion • objective facts Source: https://classnet.wcdsb.ca/.../Determining%20Perspective%20and%20Bias%20in.pptx -
Circle of Viewpoints This routine can be used at the beginning of a unit of study to help students brainstorm new perspectives about a topic and imagine the different characters, themes, and questions connected to it. Circle of Viewpoints provides a structure to assist in the exploration of one of these new viewpoints. The ultimate goal is to gain a broader and more complete understanding of the topic, event, or issue through this process.
Circle of Viewpoints Steps • Set up: • Choose appropriate source material—an image, story, issue, event, or topic—and allow plenty of time for examination and clarification. • Identify and name the topic that the class will be trying to understand better. • Write the topic or issue on chart paper or the board. • Identify viewpoints: • Generate list of viewpoints. They do not need to be only people! Inanimate objects add an interesting perspective! • An interesting adaptation can be the ripple effect—who could be affected by this issue/event/topic in the future? • Write these in a circle around the listed topic or issue.
Circle of Viewpoints Steps, continued... • Select a viewpoint to explore. • Respond to the “I think...” prompt. Ask students to take on the character and describe the topic from this new perspective. • What does this person or object think about the event? What is their take? Why do they think of this? Give students time to think about and imagine what this person or thing could be considering. • Respond to the “A question I have from this viewpoint...” prompt. • What would this person or thing be puzzled or curious about and create a question from this viewpoint, as if the person or thing was asking this question aloud.
Circle of Viewpoints Steps, continued... • Share the thinking—small or whole group so students can hear several models. Ask each person to introduce his/her viewpoint, state his/her thinking from that viewpoint and the questions. Document the main threads that permeate the discussion, particularly noting the differences in viewpoints. • Suggestion for student sharing—Wraparound. Invite one student to share and then ask others with the same viewpoint to add on to the conversation. Then invite someone “on the opposite side of the circle of viewpoints” to present his/her ideas and have others chime in.
Newspaper reporter Vietnam War protestor National Guard the ground between the two sides
Library, books, sign, people who love books, group sponsoring the book burning...
How do you examine perspective?—Step Inside Step Inside is a thinking technique in which you teach students to think about a person or an object that is a part of or connected to the event or situation you are examining. Have the students place themselves within the event or situation to see things from this point of view.
What is Step Inside? The idea of stepping inside or embodying a character or historical figure is one that teachers have long made use of. Sometimes, students do this in a way that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the character and events—especially when we add a few guidelines/structures for their thinking. Step Inside takes the learner outside himself to understand that one’s perspective often shapes how events are understood.
Step Inside Select appropriate content so students can develop an empathic response that shows a deeper awareness and appreciation of the other’s perspective. Materials need to evoke an emotional response or embody some sort of dilemma or question having multiple perspectives. The idea is for the students not to be fanciful when stepping inside, but to try to see things from a different perspective based on evidence.
Step Inside Steps Set up: Choose appropriate material—such as a dilemma or question having multiple perspectives. After students have had thinking time to examine the situation, they should identify the players and observers (both animate and inanimate). Students then choose (or are assigned) a perspective.
notebook Melba PattilloBealsfuture classmate mother of another student National Guard member
Step Inside Steps, continued • Ask questions that provide the structure: • What can this person or thing see, observe, or notice? • What might the person or thing know about, understand, or believe? • This may be a stretch initially, but the more practice students have with understanding the assumptions this character might make based on his/her experiences and beliefs, you will have some deep discussions. • What might the person or thing care about? • Have students provide evidence as support. This question is great for pulling forward past knowledge. • What might this person or thing wonder about or question? • Inferences, anyone?
Rabbit-Proof Fence—Step Inside Http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaZtOIsgBqQ This routine can be used at the beginning of a unit of study to help students brainstorm new perspectives about a topic and imagine the different characters, themes, and questions connected to it. Choose your role: Trooper; window of the truck; Daisy (youngest child); Gracie (last one taken); the mother; the grandmother; the dirt
All disciplines can use this! • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqyIIVhKiYs • Points of view: • Neutrophil (white blood cell) • Bacteria • Red blood cells • 6(x + 10) = 90 • Points of view: • 6 • parentheses • plus sign • equals sign • 90 • x
How do I assess this? • Look fors: • How clearly do the students differentiate the viewpoints? • How much evidence do the students use to substantiate the viewpoints? • Depending on when in the sequence of teaching and learning activities this strategy is used, the more content that the students have been exposed to should influence the evidence vs. emotional reaction used to support. • Are questions “surface” or are they probing deeply into the topic? • You will need to model appropriate “depth” questions that go beneath the surface of the topic to encourage thought-provoking insights. If they get the impression that a superficial or comic response is acceptable, that’s all you will get!
INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGY TRAINING—Critical Thinking (Perspectives) October 24, 2012 Name_________________________ Teaching Assignment:_______ • What connections can you make among the 21st Century Skills Critical Thinking, Communication, and Listening and the strategies presented today? • What was an “a-ha!” or an “oh-yeah...” that you had in this session today? How will it affect your teaching? • In what ways might you be able to use these strategies (or an adaptation of them) in an upcoming unit? Try to be specific. • What other strategies do you use to help students identify, rationalize, investigate, or evaluate various perspectives? Describe.