Goal 28: Challenge Their Perspectives of The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators
“It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it.” ~ Jacob Bronowski
This year’s 30 Goals Challenge theme is, “This is MY Moment.” Each goal focuses on getting educators to believe their plans of action now will lead to positive changes and transformation in their teaching and learning environments. Join our our 30 Goals Facebook community to vote on goals and receive support.
Our students were born in a digital age, which means they digest tons of information daily. The problem is that many don’t analyze or evaluate this information, which influences their perceptions. Our students tend to live in a microcosm. Their mental outlook and understanding of the world is shaped by their limited experience with the culture, traditions, and communication they are exposed to in schools, their community, and through media. Teachers have the important role of challenging students’ perspectives by getting them to experience an event through various lenses.
The communities they join in the virtual world can help them interact with other cultures and societies. We have the opportunity to guide them and help them reflect on their virtual interactions and challenge their limited perspectives. The first step to participating in the digital world is creating an avatar, a graphical representation of ourselves. This is a way to create membership, start our digital footprint, and begin a journey with a digital community. Some of us will use real-life images of ourselves, while others feel more comfortable posting cartoon-like images, our pets, or an icon. In different online communities, we may choose different avatars that match that community.
We can get our students to reflect on their digital identities through their avatars. One health teacher, for example, had teenagers reflect on how they manipulated the physical appearance of their avatars and made them skinnier, with different hair color, and so forth (Boss, 2009). Some teachers have had their students experience a virtual world as different avatars. Students, for example, will switch genders, change their skin color, or make themselves obese/tall/short and write about their experiences.
For this goal:
Short-term goal– For at least one class, get your students to consider an event through various point-of-views. Ideas may include experiencing the holidays through other cultures or from various economic standpoints.
Long-term goal– Implement a project or activity in which students are forced to view an issue from various point-of-views.
Try any of these resources to challenge your students’ perspectives:
- IfItWereMyHome– country comparison tool to compare living conditions in your own country to those of another.
- Google World Wonders– Take virtual trips to other countries. Many lesson plans
- Portraits of Kids Around the World and Their Toys
- Scholastic has many free resources for students to learn how children experienced historical events. These include letters from native americans and pilgrims and scrapbooks.
- The Scholastic character scrapbook generator is a great way for students to try to experience history as a character you assign them to be.
- Digital Avatar Creators
Introduce your students to different point-of-views surrounding an event.
Please leave a comment that you accomplished this goal by either posting your own video reflection on Youtube, using the hashtag #30GoalsEdu, posting on the 30 Goals Facebook group, or adding a comment below! All goals are organized in this 30 Goals Livebinder.
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