myths of perception

Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least that if no more, thought through my eyes. (Joyce- Ulysses)

Perception is a powerful influence upon the decision-making center of the brain. Such being the case, it is necessary that a reflective sort consider the life, learning and cumulative results of experience- wisdom- that serves as the raw material upon which comprehension of the world around oneself is drawn. It is also advisable to keep at the forefront of one’s mind the inescapably of one’s subject-led viewership of this world.

Moving to the realm of a classroom, a teacher: leader, guide, friend is also the teacher: inconsiderate, demanding, blind. As teachers we are the subject of our own perceptions of the multitude dynamic inputs within the classroom and lean heavily upon thought through our eyes.

Easily forgotten, we are the object of any number of students perceptions, and each one has their own life from which to draw upon and form their own unique perceptions of the class, the material and the teacher.

Challenging ourselves to push beyond the ineluctable modality of the visible requires genuine curiosity on our part. Learners will not let us in on their own, honest perceptions if they perceive that the teacher projects a prefabricated understanding of who they are based on the teachers own pre-developed experience with other students. This one-size-fits-all objectification is rightly infuriating as it wipes clean the highly unique learner and their individualized perceptions of their world.

While the teacher may be the primary actor within the classroom, they are by no means the controller of perceptions. How a teacher wields the power of primacy in the classroom determines whether or not they are objectified as leader or imbecile, guide or pedant.

Learners will encounter teachers, classmates and the ‘it’ being studied on their own terms. The teacher can help highlight or guide learners to the material they hope students will learn, but regardless of their efforts each learner will engage with and integrate their own uniquely defined perceptions of _______ on their own terms.

The myths of perception can lead us down a rabbit hole of ignorance, trapping us in the single-visioned subject-led perception of our own world. I control the classroom and what is learned. I have the knowledge they need. That student isn’t doing his job, he is absent-minded. He doesn’t care about all the hard work I have put into giving him a helping hand. The way I do it is superior.

Rarely will thoughts be laid so bare, yet dig just below the surface and you may just see the domination of your own subject-led perception. Thought through my eyes. Be wary of this seductive trap- relying solely on the world perceived by the viewer alone- for it is merely a mythical representation of a single being’s understanding of a multimodal, dynamic world.





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