In an early childhood setting pedagogical documentation refers to the practice of collecting and displaying evidence of the different ways children think and learn over a specific period of time. The following article provides strategies for collecting pedagogical documentation for future planning.
Inspired by Emilio Reggio's approach, pedagogical documentation can include a wide range of practices and forms, based on the content and purpose of the documentation. Here are four important ways pedagogical documentation helps in early childhood education.
Making Learning Visible
The primary purpose of pedagogical documentation is to make thinking and learning visible. This could range from documenting small but significant moments of learner insight through completed jigsaw puzzles and exuberant artwork to tracking learning concepts through long-term projects and panels. Then there are floor books to trace connections across subjects or logbooks to mark daily updates. In all these ways, pedagogical documentation can provide a comprehensive and visual representation of the learners’ educational journey over a period of time.
One of the most useful functions of pedagogical documentation is to allow children the opportunity to revisit their learning journey. So for example when learners go through their scrapbooks or floor books and look at pictures, drawings and stickers, they can be asked, ‘What do you think of the ice lollies you made for the Summer Festival” or “Would you have done your project on autumn fruits any differently”? Such exploration may help a child see a past event in a new light or encourage new connections between diverse ideas.
Communicates To Families
For educators, a particularly gratifying outcome of pedagogical documentation is the high level of parental engagement it can bring about. As families visit the classroom or school halls and look through their children’s school work, they realise the full import of their children’s learning journey. In photos families can spot the moment their child first learnt to spell full words or across a panel, they can trace the various stages of a project on barn owls, to which their child joyfully contributed. A particularly helpful form of documentation in this context is the learning story which describes what the educator witnessed the child doing on a particular day, explores its meanings and then invites comments from parents. As parents go through pedagogical documentation, use such opportunities to discuss the child’s learning with their parents; seek inputs on how learning concepts are being reinforced at home or perhaps offer insights on the child’s social and interpersonal behaviour.
Helps Educators To Reflect
For Educators, pedagogical documentation makes for a valuable reflective tool. As you go through photos and charts, think about any child you may have missed while undertaking on-the-spot records of hand paints or if you might have picked fewer photos while documenting a learning story and focused more on interpretation. Set aside some time to go over all the data collected and then see what you can refine, change or introduce in future lessons or with newer groups of learners.
Guidelines For Documenting In Early Childhood Settings - The following provides guidelines for documenting in early childhood settings.
EYLF Learning Outcomes - The list of the EYLF Learning Outcomes that you can use as a guide or reference for your documentation and planning.
MTOP Learning Outcomes - The list of the MTOP Learning Outcomes that you can use as a guide or reference for your documentation and planning.
How To Achieve Quality Area 1 - The following is a list of outcomes under each element within QA1, that can help services identify if they are achieving Quality Area 1. It also includes documentation to support each element. This list can be used as a guide for Self-Assessment purposes and the development of the Quality Improvement Plan.
How Teachers Can Use Pedagogical Documentation for Reflection and Planning, Edutopia, George Lucas Educational Foundation