Th e D i a r y o f L a u r a
As all of this work progressed, the need arose to make annotations, which some-
times had been written too implicitly and obscurely, clearer and more legible, more
apt to be shared with readers who had not participated in the event. To capture events
accurately, teachers often kept little notepads that they could pull out of their pockets
and use to jot down quick notes that they could expand on later and write into the chil-
dren’s diaries. Such attempts to take quick “mental snapshots” sparked the idea of tak-
ing camera snapshots to preserve images of the important moments as they took place.
This required increasing the teachers’ understanding of photography and its appropriate
and timely use, aimed at recording what was significant in the situation. And from the
photography came the idea to include photos, drawings, and coauthored writings in
each diary, in order to capture the diversity of possible perspectives around an event,
thus encouraging comparison and discussion.
These are the first although not yet fully conscious signs of what will be an essential
trait of documentation as we conceive it today, that is, a documentation that is able to
offer a detailed description and that is at the same time rich with a diversity of visual
and photographic images, as a testimony of the epistemological event pertaining to the
child as well as the teacher.
Similarly, another turning point in the evolution of the “diary” was the decision to
highlight (together with or instead of the daily events involving all children) the descrip-
tion and commentary of microepisodes, or microstories, that have and give continuity to
individual experiences. Laura’s diary develops from this tendency to use microstories to
make evident the relationship between the individual story of each child and the story
of the peer group. The peer group gives context to the individual story, and vice versa.
Children are rarely captured isolated and separated from one another but are most
likely described within the ever-changing dynamics they develop with the teacher and
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