Reggio Emilia Approach: The Importance of Documentation

As discussed in previous posts, the Reggio Emilia Approach has a number of key principles, but of these the most important aspect of Reggio Emilia is arguable its focus on child-driven learning. This means that Reggio Emilia regards the child as infinitely capable, able to direct their learning, and able to utilize the environment in their learning. The teacher’s role is to support children in their explorative endeavours AND to be a co-learner with the children. An important part of supporting child-directed learning is documentation.

Documentation refers to the teacher’s task of being active observers of children, and keeping record of, or displaying their work. Basically, the main goal is to make children’s learning visible, and this can be done in a number of ways. It can be done through photographing activities and children or it can be done by displaying work on the walls.

By making learning visible, the teacher the teacher can gain insight into the child’s thought processes, learning and level of understanding. Additionally, making learning visible serves as a self-assessment for teachers to determine if their work is adequate and appropriate, where it was successful, and where it could be improved. Lastly, it gives parents information about the learning that their children are doing. It provides a communication line between teacher and parent which is also central to the Reggio Emilia Approach to early childhood education.

Source (opinion article):


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