Using the concept of a world view’, identify some of the beliefs and attitudes, particularly to education and learning, that you bring to your learning now. Reflect critically on how your world view has been shaped by factors such as your gender, age or community.
Individuals see the world in unique and varied ways. Factors such as educational experiences, ways of knowing, personal responsibility and family structure have influenced my beliefs and attitudes. A world view results from the process through which knowledge and understanding is obtained.
Furthermore, my experiences of being a young woman in rural society has helped to shape my world view.
A world view can be defined as “an inside view of the way things are colored, shaped, and arranged according to personal cultural preconceptions” (Samovar ; Porter, 2004:103). This argument demonstrates that a world view is internal, yet influenced by external factors. This especially relates to formal education, whereby the school system, and the teacher in particular, are the significant external factors which directly influence a persons way of knowing, and therefore, their world view.
My educational experiences have shaped my world view, as well as my beliefs and attitudes. I have experienced both the public and private school systems.
It has been my experience in the private schooling system that knowledge is a badge of honour, attached to the person. This attachment taught me that I own my own knowledge. It also taught me that independence, self-reliance, self-discipline and success are important factors in moulding a person, and therefore, their world view. The beliefs that were instilled in me then are still important to me now, and influence my learning.
However, my experiences in the public school system were different. In comparison to the private school system, which was rigid and systemic in nature, the public school environment lacked the same rigidity and discipline. As a young woman in a rural school I had to adjust to a school community with very limited access to resources, a broader community of low socio-economic standing, and a school populated by predominantly Aboriginal students. However, it was a school which was rich in culture and learning experiences. The learning process helped shape and mould my world view within an educational context. A world view, then, is the result of a unique interpersonal process, which results in a unique interpretation of the world.
Trudgen argues that “people’s world view is the product of a host environment and historical factors” (2000:74). This is a broad statement, though it must be recognised that history and environmental factors are fluid in nature and can be applied to different circumstances. My experiences in the private and public schooling system demonstrate that the learning environment to which one is exposed directly influences the knowledge one gains and is exposed to. However, Hobson argues that in relation to knowledge, it “is attached to the personwhich cannot be de-attached but which is often hidden and often made invisible”(1996:32). This argument rests on the premise that some knowledge is culturally worth displaying, while other knowledge is private. Hence environment and historical factors, as well as personal judgement by a person, will result in a certain world view being publicly presented.
Christie, on the other hand, believes that knowledge is embodied; it is something you do, rather than something you have’. (2001:87). I would argue that knowledge is more than just doing’, it is something you own. I believe this because without knowing one cannot do’. A pertinent example of this is the learning process that a child undertakes during the journey to adulthood. For example, a child does not instinctively know how to use eating utensils, for they vary according to culture and tradition. It has to be taught, and once taught, it is owned by that person. Gaining knowledge is a process, as Christie argues, but more importantly, it is a process which is taught according to tradition and the learning environment.
My world view has been significantly influenced by my family. As the eldest of four children, with parents who owned their own business, I was placed in a position of responsibility. In many ways I did not have the same childhood and adolescence as many others my age. I was a surrogate mother to my siblings by the age of eight. I was also responsible for having dinner on the table by 6pm, as my parents would often have meetings to attend. I had to model myself on people older than I in order to meet the expectations placed on me. As a result, I became very independent, and this experience has influenced my perceptions of work ethic and individual responsibility. In many ways, Samovar and Porter’s summation that a world view enables “survival and adaptation” (2004:103) is indicative of my own experience.
A world view is an interpersonal process, resulting in a unique interpretation of the world. Historical and environmental factors, as well as educational, familial, social, and gender experiences are direct contributors to a person’s world view. Ultimately a persons way of knowing is shaped and moulded by internal and external concerns.
Christie, Michael, 2001, The knowledge notion’, The Age, 6 June.
Hobson, Julia, 1996, Concepts of the self: Different ways of knowing about the self’, text of lecture for SSK12, Murdoch University.
Samovar, Larry, A. & Porter, Richard, E. 2004 World views’, Communication between cultures, Wadsworth, California.
Trudgen, Richard, 2000, Thirteen years of wanting to know’, Why warriors lie down and die, Aboriginal Resource and Development Services, Inc. Darwin.