I am writing up my reflections from the Project Zero conference I attended last October - Project Zero Perspectives: Learning Together, Leading Together. See my last post on Art and Contemporary Issues here.
From Project Zero: “How might perspective-taking help students understand a work of art more deeply? Using the See-Wonder-Connect Thinking Routine, participants will explore Pablo Picasso’s Family of Saltimbanques and connect this painting with others from the same period. Creative writing prompts will encourage perspective-taking and help participants construct their own imaginative interpretations of these complex works of art. The course will conclude by reflecting on the shared experience and considering applications for practice in the classroom.”
I probably would have never given much thought to this painting, so I appreciated having a long time to look at it to really absorb and then question what I was seeing. Having a lot of time to really think about the characters and how they were feeling and what exactly was happening was also very interesting. I don’t think I am very articulate or good at storytelling, but this really brought out a lot of creative ideas. Although I enjoyed it, I definitely would want to relate this activity more to global issues.
I would really like to do the same activity, but with photographs. I can see Facing History and Ourselves doing a similar activity to look at stereotypes, as well as a tool for empathy. Using perspective taking is a fantastic tool for building empathy and understanding.
Imagine doing the same activity with the following images:
A Libyan coast guard officer stands on a boat during the rescue of 147 illegal immigrants attempting to reach Europe off the coastal town of Zawiyah, Libya.
Second Chance Greyhound Prison Training.
(I had to sneak this in - this is the charity we adopted my greyhound through - and also prison reform is super important to me...posts coming about that soonish!)
Overall this was a good activity for me, as it helped me slow down my thinking and really try to understand the different characters and their relationships from the images. The activity was great, but it definitely would have appealed to me more if it was related to global issues or social justice.
What other images would you do this activity with? Send me your ideas!
Links to routine: “Step Inside: Perceive, Know about, Care about”