We talk a lot about the importance of observation for the teacher, but perhaps overlook the importance of observation by the child of another child at work. The two children watching in this photo are using an amazing amount of self control to watch another child at work without touching the work, or interfering in any way. With hands in laps, they are respectfully watching, and perhaps gathering ideas for their later exploration and work with these materials. They are indirectly practicing an important executive brain function skill, impulse control. This is really challenging, even for adults! Just think of a time you were either asking for help with a new computer skill, or trying to show someone else how to do something on the computer. This is so difficult to do without the person in the teaching mode taking over the keyboard!
For visual learners, this may be a very important way to learn – by watching. Montessori education respects the diverse ways children learn, and encourages children to find out for themselves what works best to facilitate their best learning. This is a skill for life.