Assets | Perspective taking
The ability to take on another’s point of view to better understand how they think or feel and consider options we may have initially missed due to our positionality.
The work of perspective taking — placing ourselves in others’ shoes — is essential to navigating differences between values and to finding solutions to problems in our classrooms, schools and communities. It is necessary to ensure that the innovations we pursue will meet the needs of others and that multiple voices have been included in the process.
Learn about others' experiences and points of view through dialogue and engagement
Seek out a variety of perspectives to gain new knowledge and understand challenges
Navigate differences and develop solutions based on deeper understandings
Through seeking to understand others’ values and listening to their points of view, we develop a more detailed vision of others’ lived experiences and also deepen our knowledge of the cultural, social and built environments that we are part of. This new knowledge and perspective can help us to better understand the challenges we face and catalyze solutions.
Perspective taking supports multiple assets within the Principled Innovation framework. Better understanding the lived experiences of students, parents and colleagues helps us form empathetic connections with others and promotes caring — or taking altruistic action — based on what we learn. Perspective taking both supports and is supported by civility and inclusivity, as gaining others’ perspectives can lead to greater respect for the dignity and values of others in our learning communities. Hearing how others experience our learning communities differently gives us pause for critical reflection and provides insight into new ways of thinking that can spark creative solutions. And it motivates collaboration as we better understand the assets that others bring to our learning communities. Thus, perspective taking is a starting point for centering others, strengthening communities and opening ourselves up to personal and societal change.
Select one of our featured resources or visit the PI toolkit library for more tools.
Taking multiple perspectives
By: Cultivating Leadership
The tale of two robes
By: Julie Hogan, TEDx
Three strategies for helping students discuss controversial issues
By: Greater Good Science Center
The perspective taking educator
By: Principled Innovation® (PI)