Observing Inner and Outer Worlds

Andrea Lulka, (Canada) M.Ed. Montessori alumna, mother and teacher. TIES alumna, dialogue enthusiast, supporter of teachers.

How might learning to simultaneously observe self and other help us come to better understanding of our role in the classroom, the needs of the child in the moment, and the dynamics between the two? The Montessori legacy leaves us with a mandate to observe and perceive the phenomenon before us in a non-prejudiced way. Observation is often conceived of as an act, as something we do in a classroom in order to assess various aspects of the child’s relationship to the environment. What might change in our perception, then, if we begin to conceive observation as an active process as well as an act? A verb instead of a noun. Montessori says, “Even when helping and serving the children, [the teacher] must not cease to observe them…” What might shift if we approach observation as a continuous state of being and a practice which can evolve to become integrated in our way of being? What if we were to apply this to our own responses, reactions and influences?