Documentation prepared by educators, artists,
and sometimes by parents, is more than a record of what has been done and
said. It is a way of making everyone's thinking visible. It is a perspective on – an interpretation of –
the meaning of children’s relationships with the world, offered out so as to
invite other perspectives. It is displayed, revisited, and reflected upon by
children and adults on an ongoing basis. This keeps the emotional engagement
alive and promotes metacognition as both children
and adults think about their own questions, theories, and certainties.
Documenting involves taking photos, videotaping, audiotaping,
transcribing conversations, and sometimes collecting children's children's art work.
These records are not in and of themselves documentation though. That
requires the process of interpretation, preferably with others. The Reggio approach has
been described as a pedagogy of listening.
Documentation helps educators to listen in order to teach. It allows us the
privilege of witnessing the construction of knowledge.
examples of documentation are invitations to think with us about a view of
learning and teaching, and to celebrate the power of thoughtful collaboration
between children and adults.
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