Teacher Noticing

An Individual Book Review on Teacher Noticing

Researching Your Own Practice: The Discipline of Noticing by John Mason

Mason, J. (2002). Researching your own practice: The discipline of noticing. New York, NY: Routledge/Falmer.


ISBN-13: 978-0415248617


Link to the book on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Researching-Your-Own-Practice-Discipline/dp/0415248620


Link to Professor John Mason's vitae:

http://www.education.ox.ac.uk/about-us/directory/professor-john-h-mason/

Why I chose this book? The book is about "turning ordinary noticing into a tuned and powerful approach to professional development and various forms of research."

"This book is about transitions:

from being a sensitive practitioner awake to possibilities, perhaps dissatisfied with the status quo;

through reflective practices,

to engaging in productive and effective personal professional development;

through drawing on published research and colleagues’ experience,

to contributing to the professional development of others;

through being systematic and disciplined in recording, to undertaking research and participating in a research community" (p. 5).

Define Teacher Noticing


"The essence of noticing is being mindful rather than mindless" (p. 45).


The term teacher noticing is distinguished from ordinary noticing which may be unconscious. Teacher noticing (professional noticing) refers to all aspects of moving from perceiving to marking and recording or "a heightened form of noticing" that provides data to work on" (p. 33). Then we are able to make interpretations and respond to the situation.


Expert vs. Novice: "The mark of an expert is that they are sensitized to notice things that novices overlook" and "experts are aware of their actions in ways that novices are not" (p. 1).

Discipline of Noticing

Four interconnected actions bring the process of noticing to become "in the moment" (p. 99):


  • Systematic reflection
  • Preparing and noticing
  • Recognizing choices
  • Validating and refining


This provides a framework for supporting teachers in their professional development.

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Theoretical Perspective

Constructivism: "We construct what we see" - the basis of teacher noticing is that teachers see classrooms through different lenses, depending on their experiences, knowledge, and beliefs.


Communities of Practice: Noticing expertise can improve with support of professional communities. Professional development can scaffold teachers' abilities to notice in certain ways (i.e. noticing expertise can improve with support).

Critical Points

The Discipline of Noticing begins with a personal journey.

Knowing others is wisdom;

Knowing the self is enlightenment.

Mastering others requires force;

Mastering the self requires strength.

(Tao Te Ching c. 300 BC)


Habits of Mind underpin the Discipline of Noticing.

The similar habits of mind (dispositions) that we have discussed in previous readings such as on-going inquiry, reflective thinking, questioning, perseverance, purposeful thinking, and growth mindset embody the development of the Discipline of Noticing.


We can support pre-service and in-service teachers in their noticing expertise.

Thought-Provoking Questions

  1. How are you reflective in your noticing? What is the most important aspect of your teaching and/or students for which you attend to?
  2. What process of the Discipline of Noticing do you feel will be the most difficult.
  3. What types of support (videos, Lesson Sketch, etc.) can we provide to pre-service and in-service teachers to assist in supporting expertise noticing and a deeper pedagogical content knowledge.