See SAW

Updated: Feb 7

"We cannot create observers by saying 'observe', but by giving them the power and the means for this observation and these means are procured through education of the senses."

Maria Montessori


Got-A-Head®? are keen to educate our Learners in Observation. The power and the means, for us, starts, as it always does, with thinking about it. This blog will give an overview of what we deem to be Observation, with related blogs on this site giving more detail on the different categories and strategies that each one would adopt, along with some examples.


The first thing to identify is what kind of Observation you are going to do. We have split Seeing into three distinct categories:


Search would seem to be fairly self-explanatory. You are looking for something in particular or are trying to find something. Knowing what you are looking for, though, is only the start of effective Observation. You need to think through the elements that will bring about a successful end to your search. What are the key features of what you are looking for? What might affect where it is to be found? What can you do to increase your chances of finding it?


Awareness is all about being conscious of the world around you. This can be in the sense of knowing your surroundings - what is normal, for that particular place, and what stands out? What is missing that should be there, or present that shouldn't be? What is worthy of note? It also means being aware of the people around you, not just the objects, and being alert to social cues. It can also be awareness in the sense of consciously 'living for the moment' - engaging all of your senses to make the most of what surrounds you.


Waiting. We might know what we're looking for. We might even know where to find it in a particular environment. But it might not be there yet. In order to observe effectively in this category, we have to have a very clear idea of our objective and what we have to think about (or do) to make it happen. We need to be ready to act as soon as whatever it is does appear.