Have you ever asked your kids the difference? Can they distinguish one from the other?
I tried asking one of my kids, who responded, “Teaching is when a person who knows everything teaching other people what they know. Learning is people listening to the person teaching.”
That answer made me wonder: how might we help our children and students see teachers as learners every bit as themselves? How might we let go of the idea of the teacher of the main know-er of things in our classrooms? What are the benefits of children making these kinds of shifts in perspective?
Perhaps we might…
…share our (authentic) personal learning journeys with our students.
…ask students to help plan the learning that happens.
…ask students to help lead workshops on the concepts they are learning about.
…minimize “secret teacher business” by demystifying planning and letting students in on curricula (think “I can” statements that students revisit throughout the year).
What do you think? What kinds of values do you see in helping students compare and contrast teaching and learning?
Being more spatially-challenged in general, I always had trouble as a child comprehending concepts like mirror images, rotations, and geometry nets.
Fortunately, as a grew older, I learned that these are all just facets of broader concepts of scale and perspective. I’ve also benefited by recognizing their applications beyond mathematics–from art to city planning to interpersonal relationships.
So this week consists of a provocation to help our young learners begin with the big picture of scale and perspective, hopefully encouraging them to draw their own connections and conclusions.
The first is a fascinating video that lays out the entire history of the earth on a football field.
The second is a photo series by artist Matthew Albanese. He creates stunningly realistic landscapes using forced perspective, using materials from nutmeg to steel wool to fake fog. Head over to his site to view the collection of images, along with the incredible behind-the-scenes images and information on his process.
How do people use scale and perspective to help us see “the big picture?”
How does technology allow us new possibilities to show scale and perspective?
How do scale and perspective change the way we see the world?
What is our responsibility to use perspective in our lives?
How are scale and perspective connected?
How does perspective help us understand other people?