Amulet

Comprehension, Perspective and Context

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After reading this article: Here’s How a Child Sees a Van Gogh Painting

 

I wonder what your thoughts are about the following:

 

In the scenario in the article, the children are guided to see a new perspective, and as a result, they are introduced to needing to find context to re-map their comprehension.

 

Do you think that searching for context and perspective is something that we learn by instruction? Is a habit of human nature? Is looking for perspective something that we generally apply under certain conditions? In the case of the children, their broadened investigation was prompted by external guidance.

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This maybe simplistic but children learn everything from instruction. Even the hot burner of the stove provides instruction.

Edited by Brother Kaman

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1 hour ago, Amulet said:

In the scenario in the article, the children are guided to see a new perspective, and as a result, they are introduced to needing to find context to re-map their comprehension.

I  interpret the results differently.

 

 When children first see a painting, they focus on the broad strokes (pun intended). The second time, the broad strokes are less interesting, because they have already been explored, so the child will either start focusing on details or simply "drift away." By telling the children about a specific detail in the painting, you make a promise that a new experience is available, and that incentivizes taking that closer look.

 

When adults look at a painting, they spend less time on the broad strokes, because of all the other paintings they have already looked at. They will either look for the details that make this particular painting different than all the others, or they too will simply "drift away."

 

Essentially, I think it is just boredom-aversion at work.

 

Note that without reference to a control group that looked at the painting twice, but was not told anything about it between viewings, there is no indication of how much of the change in behavior was driven by the new information, itself.

Edited by mererdog

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Oddly, I saw the dinosaurs, too. And certain deep-sea creatures that live around themal vents. Given the information that those are tree roots, I did look more closely at the painting...and still saw critters.

But I'm going off-topic...

I think I agree with Brother Kaman on this one. I remember the first time that I was introduced to the concept of foreshadowing in literature, as a concept. (I'd been reading for a goodly bit more time than most of my age group, so I already knew what it was, but didn't know there was a name for it.) I gave that concept a lot more thought, after that. And then they taught me all kinds of other things to look for and use to judge a piece of writing. (And to be honest, I'm not all that certain that having the critical tools to take a story apart has made the experience of reading more pleasurable...maybe less so.)

I'm also not sure that you can typify all people, and how their heads work, by that study. There are some of us who are always, always going to be noticing the monkey, but at the same time, seeing all of the rest of it, too. And it could also be argued that the children were trying to figure out, "Wait...which parts of this thing are supposed to be hay? The yellow stuff, maybe?"

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