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Carlina Rinaldi { 13 the other children. Clearly, there is no such thing as a “given” child or a “given” context. And this type of documentation has a strong qualitative value that makes the diaries of particular interest today. The teachers’ effort to not document the child in isolation but to also consider the context surrounding the child gives rise to a contextual documenta- tion, describing the “where” and the “how,” and also hypothesizing the “why.” Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky’s and Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget’s writings were at the time the most relevant readings, but anthropological readings were also pointing more and more to context definition and to a systemic view of education and pedagogy. The writing of the diary (a form of documentation) was useful to the educator as practice in observation while watching the events that occurred and occur daily in the educational context under a “magnifying glass,” events that would not have acquired meaning and value if not captured and written in the diary. The educational approach transpiring from those diaries is far distant from the concept of laboratory, that is, from an environment in which independent and depen- dent variables are isolated. The diaries were in this sense ecological, open to the constant change of conditions and to capturing situations in their richness and com- plexity. A precious element is the recurrent attention to describing teachers’ subjective reactions to specific facts or lived experiences: The teacher feels like a part of the con- text. She is herself context and is an engaged and passionate participant of the context. The qualities of participant observation and biased narrative are evident, but so is the generosity of the narrative, rich in the emotions lived in the documentation and educa- tion. The documentation is in fact a process of “participation,” as the teacher “is part,” and thus participant, in the process. For this reason, the reflectiveness necessary when writing and possible when rereading (individually and in groups) is what transforms the anecdote into knowledge and the knowledge into collective and connecting knowing. The teacher feels like a part of the context. DOL-Int_2011-jh 2.indd 13 12/13/11 11:52 AM