Today, one of my students drew a quick sketch of the Earth as part of a picture he was working on for a vocabulary exercise (the sentence was “The Earth instantly exploded,” so you can imagine the rest of his drawing). What struck me about his Earth drawing was the perspective he used. If someone told me to draw the Earth, I would make a feeble attempt at sketching North America, Central America, South America, Africa to the right, and maybe even a swipe across the top and bottom of the globe to indicate the Poles. But check out my student’s work. He started with China and then drew in Japan, Taiwan, and Australia (and added some lines at the top and bottom–in that we’re similar). Where does this student live? Taiwan. What’s featured on his map? Taiwan and it’s surrounding countries. Interesting. This is worldview–literally. It’s all about perspective.
3 thoughts on “Worldview–Literally”
It is interesting to see this even in the drawings of a child but not unusual. I have read that this is sometimes described as an ethnocentric world view, meaning to view the world from the perspective of the people group or part of the world from which they have come. I have seen world maps drawn from ancient cartographers and they always draw their country of origin as the center of the world. For those who do not know the meaning of the characters used by the Chinese to name their country (Jung Gwo), the characters mean “central kingdom.” Again a matter of world view.
I was thinking exactly the same thing, Dad. After the student drew this, we stopped for a moment and talked about how we all view the world differently, and I told him how I would have drawn it. We didn’t go into much depth about worldview (though we’ve discussed biblical worldview in class before), but I really did think this was a perfect reminder of how integral our worldview is to every part of our lives. It’s also a good reminder that we’re not always at the center of everything.