chapter  1
Forces for development
Pages 20

Every practitioner, in what ever domain they work, wants to be awake to possibilities, to be sensitive to the situation and to respond appropriately. What is considered appropriate depends on what is valued, which in turn affects what is noticed. Thus every act of caring and supporting depends on noticing: noticing what students are doing and what they are likely to need in the near future in order to achieve their goals (Langer 1989). Every act of teaching depends on noticing: noticing what children are doing, how they respond, evaluating what is being said or done against expectations and criteria, and considering what might be said or done next. It is almost too obvious even to say that what you do not notice, you cannot act upon; you cannot choose to act if you do not notice an opportunity. Of course we all would like to do so much more than we do, even though there is not the time in which to do it. It is not always possible to devote enough time to listening and observing, to planning and preparing. The Discipline of Noticing provides a way to select and work at one or two aspects at a time. It focuses attention on enhancing awareness by sharpening and enriching those moments when you get a taste of freedom as you participate in a creative moment. It focuses attention on changing what can be changed, if it is deemed appropriate to change, not fussing about what cannot be changed for social, cultural, or institutional reasons.