Seeing the World As It Isn't

You saw what? Students explore the fascinating mysteries of perception and memory. First, students examine scientific evidence that demonstrates how people experience the world differently, depending on priorities, expectations, and focus of attention. Then, students explore the implications. How does this scientific research inform our acceptance of human differences? How can this insight affect our daily actions and interactions?

Dates Offered

March 8, 2019
March 15, 2019

Explore More

Interested in exploring this topic more deeply?

  • Go to: An article in Scientific American’ describes the unreliability of eyewitness testimony.

  • At home: Adolescents and adults alike enjoy the classic children’s picture book by Mem Fox: Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge.  Beautifully illustrated and poignantly written, this book explores connections that even failing memories can make. A copy is available for checkout in the MS Media Center.

  • PodCast: In the Hidden Brain podcast episode “Lost in Translation” Shankar Vedantam describes how the languages we speak shape the way we think. Included at the episode is a section about how native language affects how we perceive and what we remember.

Why Teach Perception?

Perception drives perspective. Helping students develop a sense of their perspective and an understanding of others is a central goal of the middle school experience. Approaching this topic from the scientific angle is not only informative, it also provides an objectivity that allows students to thoughtfully question their own point of view.