Perception Depends on Context


What we see in any given situation depends upon the context in which we approach it. Education, therefore, must focus on providing students with a context, or a means of perception, through which they might see and understand reality as it is. 

Who has understood the subtleties of their native tongue before they were exposed to the complexity of a foreign language? Who can predict the future without first understanding the past? Who can tell (without some background context) that the two squares below are the same color?

We do not see the lens of our own culture without first reaching beyond it to something transcendent. Whether this is the simple act of seeking the perspective of another person, of digging into ancient texts to understand the world as it was understood before the present day, the pursuit of context is worthwhile.

Alone, the task can be daunting, but within a community of individuals who have resolved to see beyond their first impressions, the search for truth takes on a different hue. Although it is never easy, the teacher, who is always at the same time the student, may provide insights into the process of knowing that shatters preconceptions and lays the foundation for a more honest look at the world.

I still don’t understand exactly how my brain sees the two squares as different colors, but someone told me that if I place my finger across the horizon line in the middle, the picture changes completely. In this action, the illusion fades, I am aware of the context, and my curiosity drives me to discover more of what is really going on. Click the link below to see for yourself how it works.

Source: An Optical Illusion You Will Swear Is Fake. It Isn’t.

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