It’s a Matter of Perspective

alternate title – Things I Know For Sure

I know that seeing things from both sides of an argument can help change your own views on things. Just take that whole dress discussion! First of all, why? Secondly, WHY? As the dialogue and debates raged in media and online, I turned to wonder. Why did this become ‘the great debate’?  It’s a matter of perspective where there are only two options – white or black, blue or gold. This makes argument easy and engagement compelling. When there are more layers or issues involved, it’s not so easy.  So this debate on how things are viewed are fresh in my mind.

Then I read K. Keery Bishop’s blog post Things I Know For Sure. She explains why she knows that

  • everyone is on a learning journey
  • listening is a hard skill
  • celebrating progress is an on-going goal
  • time and energy are finite resources
  • learning comes from sharing

This was followed by A. Dunsinger who explains why she knows for sure that

  • change is good but it can be hard
  • we all need ‘critical friends’
  • we need to be willing to modify our views
  • we need to listen before we talk
  • always find a way to enjoy your day

The challenge is on – let’s make sure the ideas and debate continues as long and loudly as the views of that dress!

Here are five things I know for sure. These are not in any order or hierarchy and without a specific focus, but could be applied to your own context or perspective – they are neither white and gold or blue and black.

  • image of baby eating spaghetti

    Learning is messy

    Learning is messy.  Like a baby eating spaghetti – messy! Sometimes you wear your mistakes like a stain, but eventually it washes off. You have to get your hands dirty and make it fun or it doesn’t ‘stick’. The best lessons learned are those where it’s slippery and gooey because if it’s too easy, you don’t remember them. Learning is oh, so delicious when you finally ‘get it’. Maha Bali shows this to me in her blog posts all the time – yummy, messy and good fun learning from her perspectives.

  • Stories can teach. You learn the most from telling your own stories, but the stories of others are great for learning too. Teach me something by telling me a story. Let me see, hear and feel the experiences from another perspective. I’ll compare and contrast them with my own and it’ll make my mind build connections. By writing my own story, it teaches me to look at myself differently and helps others see my side of things. Luis Perez will continue to teach me through his stories e.g. I am More Powerful Than You Think
  • image of bouncing balls

    Ideas bounce

    Ideas bounce.  But only if they are let out of the box. Once an idea is set free, it could bounce high (like that whole dress thing) or it could bounce once and stop. Ideas bounce around in your head all the time. Ideas bounce when you make them visible by putting them on paper or talking about them. Sometimes bouncing ideas collide with others and a whole new game is started. Getting ideas about teaching and learning ‘out of the box’ is important, but so is bouncing them around. David Carruthers bounces some good ones out to anyone willing to play.

  • Variety is the spice of life.  Trying new things and exploring differing views adds flavour to your day. Finding unusual combinations can result in a whole new experience – who knew sweet and sour would go so well together!  Traditional spices for me are not the same as yours but we can sample from each other to transform what we experience. My friend and fellow learner, Angela N. in Santiago, Chile, adds variety and spice to our conversations about personalized learning.
  • image of snowman melting

    Snow always melts

    Snow always melts. For those of us in Canadian climes, this is a truth that is sometimes hard to remember when we are into the 28th day of a deep freeze, or shovelling for five days straight!  But, I know – it’ll melt some day …. soon. We should enjoy and revel in it’s wonderful whiteness because it will end. Not everyone in the world will experience the highs and lows this snow can bring. There are joys that come from the first snowfall, the first blizzard that cancels school, the first day when you hear a robin’s song. All good things, or bad things, do come to an end. My experiences through this long, cold winter in #moocmooc, Hybrid Pedagogy and SOOC4Learning have come to an end, but the ideas and conversations keep melting into my thoughts and actions.

So, don’t stop talking about that dress, because it clarifies and changes our perspectives. But also think about, write about, shout out the five things you know for sure! Your views will clarify and change my perspectives. What do you know for sure? What do they mean for you? What’s your view on this?


Bikes and Books. (Dec. 27, 2010). melting snowman. Flickr Creative Commons.

Risolvo, A. (March 12, 2007). Bouncing Colours. Flickr Creative Commons.

Singh, G. (May 18, 2007). Noodles of Fun. [image] Flickr Creative Commons. 

This entry was posted in Talking, Together and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to It’s a Matter of Perspective

  1. Matthew Rhymer says:

    Interesting blog post! I enjoyed your 5 points on learning. I will take up your challenge.

Comments are closed.