How do I highlight children’s voices authentically in my documentation?

Question: How do I highlight children’s voices authentically in my documentation?

Talk with and observe the children

Start by asking yourself these questions:

  1. Do we listen to the children?
  2. How do we support them to express their views?
  3. How do we take their views into account?
  4. How do we share power and responsibility for decision-making with the children?
  5. Do we need to change our current documentation practices to ensure the above processes are captured?

Here are some practical examples of how to highlight children’s voices:

  • Ask children about the environment – what they like/don’t like and what they would change? With their permission, write it down and make it part of your planning cycle.
  • Provide opportunities for children to express their opinions in groups. Write a piece together or include an outline of the conversations in your planning/daily summaries or individual children’s planning.
  • Use different mediums and be aware of different ways of expressing views – include art, movement and non-verbal cues, such as facial and body cues.
  • Ask children if they would like to share and describe their play/artwork/photo and include their quotes in journals/portfolios.
  • Ask children/families what they might like to learn about. Document the ways you followed up.

Caitlin Mason
Consultant, Community Child Care Association

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