noticing framework


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This framework supports slow, rich description, wonder, and reflection rather than fast next steps or easy solutions. As a general framework, it allows thinking, learning, and collaboration on many levels. There are multiple ways to interpret and practice inside this framework, yet it holds a simplicity and depth that matters for a 4 year-old child wondering about a button, a maker space wanting to extend its focus on process learning, or an urban public school district wanting to uncover more layers to how learning operates inside its system.


noticing—finding what is there, what is not there, what may have been there before, what might be dreamed there. Noticing is more than a process of looking closely, it is a process of getting into the skin of what is being noticed. Seeing beyond what is there. Seeing into one’s own seeing, thinking, and feeling about noticing itself.

-Melissa Butler

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What follows are examples of practice with a noticing framework approach across levels inside systems of learning:

individual learning

student or educator or any person who practices noticing an object (or text, image, moment) as a part of their own learning


educator learning

anyone/group who practices noticing others in their processes of learning


system learning

anyone/group who practices noticing a larger system that is purposed to support learning for others

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Consulting services can focus on noticing as a way to support schools, organizations, districts, and other systems to make decisions about where to focus attention and resources in support of learning. And/or consulting services can focus on supporting educators and other leaders with practice that grows this kind of approach in teaching and learning.