What is documentation?

Documentation is a powerful tool used to communicate children’s experiences, ideas, and learning processes. It can take many shapes and forms and usually portrays a child’s work at different stages of completion. 

Documentation attempts to make learning “visible”. Teachers record the progression of children’s understanding on a daily basis creating a narrative. A variety of tools are used such as: video, photography, voice recording, writing, and drawing.  The teacher is closely attuned to what students do by conducting careful observations and recounts how children think and feel and interact with their environment in a sustained and focused manner. Ordinary moments of learning are valued. Questions and tentative answers are developed.  The objective is to enable teachers to figure out what to teach and what students should learn from data that is collected and displayed. This information is then used to guide further teaching. Thus, documentation is a research tool that can be used to effectively guide learning. How children think and learn and how ideas are born, take root and flourish is a central focus documentation. 

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