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Identifying Multiple Perspectives

When a friend reacts in an unexpected manner, we often say "Where's he coming from?" Of course, this question isn't about a place ("He's coming from . . ."). It instead implies an examination of his perspective; it asks why did he act that way? In RLC 110, a perspective is defined as

a point of view from which a person or a group of people looks at something at a given time. . . . [Although] each perspective seems "personal," it also can be linked with the larger beliefs of a culture. (Reading Our Histories 28)

After students in RLC 110 write a narrative about a conflict in their lives, they are asked to think critically not only about their own viewpoints, but also to consider the perspectives of other participants in the conflict.

Many courses require students to examine multiple perspectives on a wide range of subjects. For example, in a sociology course, students are asked to consider the different viewpoints of those involved in a labor dispute. Go to a related assignment to see this example, and go to an excerpt for a sample from a student's RLC 110 paper.