Montessori teachers learn the value of quietly observing when they are in training. Once the classroom environments are prepared with every child’s needs in mind, the children can explore and discover the concepts that each material holds. An observant teacher can discern more about a child’s learning style and disposition by observation than by any other teaching technique. Parents can quietly observe their children in natural surroundings where children can be free to explore. Freedom within limits, boundaries dictated by keeping safe. These observations take time, something we have to carve out of our busy days.
I read an article this morning about Native Americans and their definition of time as it relates to nature.
Science defines time as an absolute unit of measure – a day, an hour, a minute, a second. However, tribes, their languages and culture look at time as a relationship between events of nature and include humans. Humans created the concept of finite time, whereas nature creates events. Tribal focus is mainly on observing time’s relationship with nature, which is communicated through tribal culture and its language of connection. This relationship is taught by elders to tribal youth. For example, I would go hunting with my family, and elders might not say a word for hours. A small animal would appear, and I would hear my uncle say, “This means something.“ When I asked, “What does it mean?“ He would answer, “Just watch.“