Friday, February 22, 2013

The Bigger Picture

Kath Murdoch (@kjinquiry) posted this video on Twitter today with the challenge to use this to explore the concept of perspective.

Kath's time spent at CDNIS this week prompted many professional discussions. Perspective was one of the big take-aways for me. Just as our "first world problems" seem important to us in the immediacy of our own lives, we can often lose sight of the bigger picture - that the world is a much bigger and complex entity than how we might perceive it when caught up in the minutiae of our lives. The charger not reaching my bed simply does not equate in importance to the lack of clean water suffered by millions each day.

So what? What's the connection to education, or, perhaps the disconnect? There are moments in the school year that I lose perspective. I get caught up in the "school" part at the expense of the "learning." Planning, assessment, meetings, asking students to engage in tasks that might not always have a clear and useful purpose, worrying about coverage of curriculum and content more than ensuring students understand essential concepts: the minutiae.

Kath reminded me that it is about the learning: the bigger picture - authentic engagement, understanding, critical thinking, creativity, building a passion for learning. This is what I want to focus on more, the "learning" over the "schooling" - individuals over systems, passion over imposition, teaching for a love of learning over a love of high grades.


  1. Great blog post Mr. Macpherson! I liked how you said so what and explained the true meaning of "first world problems".


  2. Thanks Janice, I really appreciate your comment! I hope you can relate the blog post to what we're doing in class with different learning engagements and with 20% time.

  3. Thank you for these videos... I will show the first one to my 7th graders at school on Monday!