Friday, January 09, 2015

A change of perspective provides new insights

Many years ago when I was a Science Adviser I was taking a class of primary students through a piece of native bush. With me at the time was the art adviser Batch Collins. After listening to me
attempting to help students gain some knowledge of the trees and shrubs my art adviser friend asked me if he could work with the students. Later he informed me that, from his position, a number of the class seem a little bored with my approach.  

I passed the class over to Batch.I thought to myself - what would an art adviser know about the bush? 

He asked the class to lie on their backs  and look up into the canopy and just think about what they could see. He asked them to shut their eyes and simply listen to sounds. Later he asked students to note the various shapes, patterns , movements they could see, and
also to think about the textures they could feel. And the smells the bush gives off. To conclude he asked them to think about the feelings they gained from being in the bush - imagine, he said, if you were here by yourself , or if you were lost.

Later he explained the importance of students exploring experiences through their senses and emotions and that this could be  capitalized on late back in class for language  and art. 

It was a lesson well learnt.

From this time on I always took the time to encourage students to take in any experience through their senses and their emotion before moving on to sorting out plants and their ecological relationships with each other. On reflection it was how I originally learnt my
own knowledge of the bush - the names and ecological relationship came later. 

Sometimes , as teachers, we rush in and in the process do not give our students time to take in the experience.

Altering ones perspectives is an important means to develop more interesting learning.

A while ago. while working on the roof of my house , the same thought came to me. From the roof my garden took on a new perspectives  , and to capture the insight I took photos.

A change of perspective is vital in any learning..


Anonymous said...

Great views - you need a room on your roof! What a fascinating 'garden'.

Bruce Hammonds said...

I am just marking time until the new school year begins. I've often thought of a deck or something on the roof.