Sunday, January 18, 2009

What do I mean by "perspective"?

When I taught high school English, my students would often ask if they were allowed to have their opinions in their essays. This, invariably, led to someone expressing that whatever he said could not be wrong because it was his opinion. My point is that there exists a wide-spread misconception as to the value of an opinion. I suggested to my students that there exists a continuum of the statement of a position, from impression to irrefutable truth and with opinion falling somewhere between these two extremes. Opinion is, then, supported by and founded upon what one knows and understands from one's own experience. This has led me to prefer the word "perspective" over "opinion."

Following this as truth--even if only personal truth--the term "perspective," relative to this blog, holds two meanings. The first is that I will be expressing my personal views regarding education and education reform. These entries will be my views expressed for any who are willing to read them. Consequently, those who read the entries may wish to respond, thereby providing their perspective as well. The second is meaning is relative to "perspective" being modified by "learning." My intent is to provide dialogue regarding educational reform from the perspective of the learner, as opposed to that of the teacher or the administrator. My next entry will address the meaning of "learning."

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