Question: How do I highlight children’s voices authentically in my documentation?
Talk with and observe the children
Start by asking yourself these questions:
- Do we listen to the children?
- How do we support them to express their views?
- How do we take their views into account?
- How do we share power and responsibility for decision-making with the children?
- 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.
Consultant, Community Child Care Association
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