What it is

Perspective is a lens through which we learn to see the world; it shapes what we see and the way we see it.  The lens can clarify, magnify, distort or blur what we see. By changing the position of the lens, different aspects of the text may be foregrounded. In this way, perspective provides a dynamic basis for the relationship between composer, text and responder.

Perspective includes the values that the responder and composer bring to a text. In a text these values are expressed and/or implied through the composer’s language and structure which may position the responder to accept them.  By adopting different perspectives, a responder can bring to light underlying values in the text and construct meanings which may challenge, confirm or modify the original reading of a text. Applying different perspectives may also challenge, confirm or modify the responder’s own values.

Why it is important

To become critical thinkers and insightful readers, listeners and viewers, students need to understand that neither texts nor they themselves are neutral. We all operate through cultural and ideological frames that position us to accept certain views of the world. We need to recognise how these lenses are working so that we can choose to accept or dismiss the values that they entail.

Stage 6

Students understand that perspective is dialogic and a foundation for flexible and self-reflexive thought.

They learn that

  • different perspectives may be adopted for particular purposes
  • engaging with different perspectives gives insight into one's own worldview and how we position ourselves in relation to others
  • adopting different perspectives may confirm, challenge or modify other readings
  • perspectives in texts may be naturalised*
  • texts may be critiqued and debated through particular perspectives, including perspectives that are theoretically informed*.

*Advanced and Extension courses

Stage 5

Students understand that perspective provides a frame through which we learn to see the world.

They learn that

  • the world and texts may be seen through particular frames.
  • views of the world may be exploited for particular purposes
  • readers and viewers may be positioned to accept particular views.

Stage 4

Students understand that views of the world are framed by language, experience and culture and convey values.

Students learn that

  • language shapes our perspective of people, events, groups and ideas
  • perspectives convey values.

Stage 3

Students understand that perspectives may differ and that these differences need to be considered

They learn that

  • perspective may be expressed in different ways including the values expressed and the form of expression

Stage 2

Students recognise that their understanding of the worlds in texts are shaped by their own personal experience and their own culture.

They learn that views of the world in texts

  • may differ from each other
  • are based on selections
  • may be represented in various ways in different modes and media.

Stage 1

Students understand that personal experience and interest shape their opinions and choices.

They learn that

  • opinions can be shared, developed and questioned.


Students understand that opinions can be articulated in and through texts

They learn that

  • opinions, preferences for and ideas about texts and authors may differ.