Pedagogical Documentation is the heart of a Children’s Studio education. It is a practice that goes beyond assessment for standards. Teachers routinely collect documentation as children work and play inside and outside the classroom. Collected data is then used for reflection with children, families and colleagues. As children revisit their work, they are invited to recall and reflect on previous experiences alongside teachers and peers. For young children, working in this way reinforces language and social-emotional skills, and for older children, this process helps to deepen their perspective and understandings, encourages the consideration of new ideas, and helps children to confidently articulate their theories.
Our teachers seek to create an environment and materials that suit the way children learn. Observing children in the everyday moments and everyday spaces of our school, supports this mission. Teachers record, document, share, interpret and invite the interpretation of others as they shape the direction of the program. Ideas for both indoor and outdoor experiences are guided by the children and their specific actions as they engage throughout the day.
We believe that making children’s learning visible through the sharing of documentation engages families in a way that is authentic and meaningful. We seek to engage parents and to work with them, as we look together at what the children are doing. Our teachers prepare weekly reflections and documentation displays that help connect children to their previous experiences while conveying to them that their ideas are valued. This process extends to families as they are invited to share their perspectives on what the documentation reveals about their child. We understand that the more insight we have into children’s previous experiences, the more opportunity for possibilities to emerge in a reciprocal learning environment.