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  • Skribentens bildSuzanne Axelsson

Why we document... start of a series

This is just a short post to start an exploration of why do we document the children? What is the purpose of the documentation? How much time does it take? Does it interfere with the children playing? Learning? How do we use these notes, films and photos, quotes, audio recordings etc?

How much time do YOU spend practicing the art of documentation? When do you practice? Is it a skill that can be learned through books and lessons or some that we need to do to learn? or both? Can you be phronetic in documentation? That there is a practical wisdom of how to document that comes with experience. If so, how do you gain the experience you need? What theory do you need to be able to document? What about pedagogical documentation? What skills, theory and experience do you need to be able to learn from and interpret all the documentation that is being accumulated? Who is the documentation for? Do they really need it? How do they need it? How does it differ from other documentation? Do you document differently depending on whether it is for children, their parents, colleagues, the walls, the portfolio, the authorities etc. Do you analyse or present it differently? Do you feel the documentation is useful in your work? How does it help you? Do you have the time to document and analyse the documentation... on your own/together with others... who are these others? Do you have a mentor? Do you get to interact with your mentor enough?

The above film was taken using timelapse... How often do you experiment with different photo, film etc methods of documenting. What do you learn from this? I know that my instagram photo project #slowdown #lookclosely has had an impact on how I observe children. It has given me the chance to explore the world from a new perspective... to also see the children and their learning from a new perspective... and to be able to do this without a great deal of effort, as I practice in my daily life to see the small details and the whole. what do you do to help you hone skills needed in your profession? In future posts I will be exploring these questions and explaining my experiences and what I have learned... and what I still strive towards... I will also explain more about the time-lapse, slow motion and other techniques that I have been using as a learning tool for myself and the children... Documentation is like a mosaic for me... small details that we need to piece together to create a whole.

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