The Lost Art of Noticing

Ascham Teacher Librarian Penny Szentkuti shares how our youngest students are cultivating their observation skills at the foundations of their learning journey.

‘In our busy lives, with multiple screens purposefully grabbing our attention, it seems that the art of slowing down, looking around and really seeing things is becoming lost.

Research is to see what everybody else sees and think what nobody else has thought.
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Hungarian Biochemist

‘If we are to bring research back to basics, it starts with observing. In our weekly library lessons with Years 1 and 2, we are actively practising this skill. In Term 1 we visited the garden and looked closely at leaves, grass, trees, seeds and any living creatures we could find. We were lucky to see a pair of very placid ducks and we even brought a bucket of snails into the library to have a closer look!

‘The girls are practising drawing what they see, not just what they remember or imagine. This sort of close observation always prompts questions and wondering, the next phase of research. We will continue to observe the garden all year long, noticing and recording the changes the seasons bring.

‘This term we are focusing on the changes in the playground and enjoying the opportunity to watch and learn about all the mechanics of both demolition and construction. It is also a great companion to classroom learning about materials and their uses.

‘I hope everyone has the chance to look up, take notice of the wonderful world around us and talk about it with our girls. This is the very foundation of learning and one of life’s simple pleasures.’

Image: Our youngest Ascham students practising the art of observation as their new playground is being built.

19 May 2023

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