For my first official blog post… I would like to share a portion of a book that I am reading:
“We all look at the world through goggles. Many of us are unaware of this fact (and those who are aware are loath to admit it), but we all perceive the world about us through tinted lenses – tinted with the ideas stored in our memories. Only by referring to the millions of ideas we have consciously and unconsciously logged in our brains can we continually make sense of the world we experience. No one has a goggles-free view of the world, because no living brain is ideas-free.” – On the Origin of Tepees
This idea of viewing the world through different lenses isn’t something that is new to me (although it was only 2 short years ago). Through our education courses, I have become aware of the importance of thinking about how my past experiences have shaped who I am and how I perceive new experiences. Although I am aware that each of us is wearing a different set of “goggles” I still find that I must remind myself of this when I encounter new situations. This brings up the idea of perception. How we perceive everything in our lives shapes how we react to what we see around us on a daily basis. Being conscious of our goggles is absolutely important in shaping our actions in the classroom. We must have an understanding that each individual we interact with will have a different set of life experiences that will alter their view of school, their abilities, strengths, weaknesses, even how they perceive us as teachers. We must be sensitive to this in a way that makes us responsive to each learner as an individual.
In order to gain understanding of individual experiences and how they affect each person, we must cultivate empathy in our society. Below I have included a video about the science behind empathy. Humans are naturally empathetic but I think we need to tap into this more in order to create an inclusive and improved society.
The video gets you thinking about our desire to help others and how it is engrained in history. We need to hold on to this instinct and use it.
I think it is important to not only be conscious of our own goggles and how they affect our teaching, but to also make students aware of the goggles that each of them are wearing. Through introducing students to this idea that each of them is wearing a set of lenses, perhaps we can get them to develop more empathy and general awareness about those around them. How can we get students to not only realize they are wearing goggles, but to also consider what it would be like to wear a classmate’s goggles for a day? What valuable life skills might our students learn from doing this?