Education About Asia: Online Archives

Why Perspective Matters

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Something happens in the humanities classroom when the student realizes that his/her world is infinite, without borders, and that knowledge is not solely confined to a textbook. They reach the understanding that they know. In my classroom, understanding and gaining perspective is the essential outcome I want for them. The memorization of historical dates and trivia, knowing the state standards, and scoring “above proficient” on standardized tests pale in comparison. In fact, I think none of these really matter when it comes to what it means to truly learn. It’s similar to when Mao Zedong used the expression “Draining the pond to catch the fish” when he criticized Soviet economic planning. Too often, we rob the students of learning in order to satisfy the system.