Pedagogical Documentation Essay

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The potential of pedagogical documentation, By Jacinthe Nguyen Can learning be visible? Children’s and teacher’s learning’s processes visible through pedagogical documentation. Life is full of learning moments for children as well as for adults. But how can we illustrate this learning in a manner visible to others? In the Reggio Emilia approach, children are seen as active and competent learners; and the use of pedagogical documentation reflects this view through exhibiting, analysing and reflecting on children’s learning (Patterson, 2005). Supporting Reggio Emilia’s image about the child, Patterson (2005) asserts that pedagogical documentation is a “powerful tool in advocating for children as complex, capable and resourceful learners” (p.307). So, what is ‘pedagogical documentation’? Many researchers define pedagogical documentation similarly to Alcock (2000), who describes it as “the essential lynchpin for recording and reflecting on past learning, from multiple perspectives, via multiple ‘languages’” (Alcock, 2000 p. 7). In other words, pedagogical documentation is about documenting the children’s learning processes as well as encouraging the thoughts, interpretations and reflections of children, teachers, families and the wider community (Moran, Desrochers & Cavicchi, 2007). This happens through displaying content such as written notes, transcripts of children’s discussions, children’s works, photographs and videos, and encouraging stakeholders to take part into the process of revisiting, interpreting, discussing on and reflecting on the content (McDonald, 2006). Pedagogical documentation allows children’s learning to be visible. It also allows stakeholders to collaborate with each others, understand and learn about different views on children’s and teacher’s learning whilst becoming more involved into their learning (Moran, Desrochers &

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