Dixie Darr

In creativity, Learning, work on May 29, 2007 at 6:52 am

Point of View

“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” Albert Einstein

Have you ever had the experience of seeing something familiar upside down or in an extreme close-up view and having no idea what it is? We get so accustomed to seeing things one way that we can fail to recognize that there are other perspectives. One of the hardest, and potentially most valuable things for most of us to do is to change the way we look at things. Here’s an example of how useful it can be.

I used to dread doing faculty peer reviews at the University where I teach. As part of the quality assurance program, each faculty member is observed in class and evaluated by a senior faculty member. As long as I saw these visits as a management tool focusing on critiquing other teachers, I resisted doing them, putting them off as long as possible and trying my best to get out of doing them at all.

One night, while visiting a humanities course taught by an enthusiastic and inventive teacher, I realized that the peer reviews were an opportunity for me to learn the best practices of some really talented and dedicated people. Now I see this obligation as a master class in teaching methods, and I always get great ideas that I can adapt in my own classes.

As my favorite author Anne Lamott said, “The best way to change the world is to change your mind.” It isn’t as simple as it sounds.

© Copyright 2007 Dixie Darr. All rights reserved

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