Question: How often should we document children’s learning? How much is an acceptable amount?
Adjust your mindset. Quality is best
When it comes to documentation, there is no minimum number of observations. And, there’s no one ‘right way’ to document learning.
So, how do you know whether your documentation meets the NQS? Start by asking yourself whether your observation explains a child’s learning. Did you think ‘wow’ about what you were documenting – or did you write the observation just so you had another one?
Think about how you can interpret the child’s learning, and draw on research to support your interpretation. If you have extended on this learning, make sure you document that too.
You need enough information from observations and documentation to make a clear assessment of a child’s learning over a period of time. Some of the questions to ask yourself can include:
- When you look at a child’s educational folio, can you see a progression in their learning?
- Do your observations show the child is engaged and enjoying the program?
You won’t do yourself any favours collecting observations for the sake of volume. Iram Siraj-Blatchford (2012) suggests that the aim of documentation is to ‘enhance learning in a respectful way’. Make sure you’re reflecting this thinking in your practice. It’s definitely a case of quality over quantity!
ACECQA’s information sheet, Guidelines for documenting children's learning, might come in handy.
Services Manager, Community Child Care Association