Monday, March 25, 2013

Perspective Taking

My wife challenged me this past weekend to explain to her what I was thinking about when it comes to perspective taking in this project and how I thought this project would help our son and the other kids involved.  It's an excellent question and one I've been thinking a good deal about since the project's inception.  I thought it would be good to note a few of my thoughts here in case others have something to share or can help refine our focus.

A Definition
First and formost I think a definition is warranted so we're clear about what we're actually talking about.  I believe perspective taking refers to our ability to relate to others. It is our ability to perceive someone else’s thoughts, feelings, and motivations. In other words it refers to our ability to empathize with someone else and see things from their perspective.

See Yourself Through Another's Eyes
An initial step into this vague area of perceiving other's thoughts is the simple act of seeing yourself through another's eyes.  In this project, however, the other person's eyes are literally your own as you you look at yourself from above in the hexarotor.  It's a bit like one of M.C. Escher's paintings of the hand drawing itself or the infinite staircase. We will do so and then discuss what we thought about seeing ourselves.  What looked different?  What did we learn about ourselves?

See What You Know Differently
Another step will be to look at things we know to exist but to see them different.  By flying, we'll be able to look down at the playground, the creek, the school or ourselves and see what these things look like from the air.  The act of seeing what's on the roof of the building or the top of the tree will help illustrate that just because we can't see something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. 

Prior to flying, we will work with the kids to predict what we may see and what each of us will notice.  When we're done, we'll revisit our predictions.

Video Rewind 
Not only will we experience flying in real time but we will have opportunities to replay the video that's captured by the hexarotor.  We will discuss what each of us sees, what jumps out at us, and what we liked about it.  We'll use the video to stpo time and

Becoming a Bird
We'll use birds as our first proxy for taking another's perspective becuaes we will be them.  We will be acting like them.  We'll ask questions like "What do you think that bird thinks/feels when it sees you on the ground as it flies by?  What did you feel when you flew by?

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