A few weeks ago students on a LEARNZ field trip were backstage at an opera; last week they were in the Wellington Mayor’s office talking Smart Motorways. Next week they’ll be searching for kea nests in the Southern Alps. All LEARNZ field trips are journeys to the unfamiliar.
Travelling to Antarctica is another step-up in unfamiliarity. Inside Scott Base life is mostly familiar; but outside presents a new normal. It’s common to see people walking and skiing at one o’clock in the morning. For students and us, it’s a new frame of reference.
Right now Shelley and I are preparing for an Antarctic science virtual field trip. Students on this trip will join a NIWA science team trying to find out why sea ice in Antarctica is increasing while it is disappearing in the Arctic.
An opportunity to learn about frames of reference
In guiding student learning to prepare for this virtual journey, we are exploring ideas around frames of reference. The things that make us what and who we are and give us our point of view define our frame of reference. Our reality. One person’s reality may be very different from another.
Two people stand facing each other on either side of a street. A car drives past. One person sees the car moving to the right. The other person sees the car moving to the left. Two different frames of reference; two different observations. Our frame of reference determines how we see and understand the world. It’s influenced by our geographic location, who we live with, our beliefs, our education, our culture.
Our frame of reference can limit our ability to understand issues and to think critically. Part of a picture only tells part of a story; what you see is not always what you get.