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DOUBLE Early TO ZOOM 8 Pedagogical Documentation in TAP Childhood WITH PHONE OR TABLET Learning Stories Developed by Margaret Carr and Wendy Lee, both of New Zealand, learning stories are narratives that describe learning and help children see themselves as powerful learners. The primary audience for a learning story is the child herself and her fam- ily. Therefore, the narrative is written for and to the child. Here is a short excerpt, providing an example of the tone and vocabulary used in a learning story, provided by Diane Kashin, author of Technology-Rich Inquiry-Based Research, a blog that she publishes with Louise Jupp: J. and M., I noticed how thoughtfully you negotiated a fair plan to gather the beans from the garden together. You helped one another with the task and showed a great deal of co-operation and understanding of each other’s ideas for completing the task. (Kashin 2013) The Classroom as Documentation When thinking about the big picture of documentation—all that it entails, and the many ways in which it can be shared—it is important to remember that classrooms themselves are a form of documentation. For instance, what can we learn about someone else’s philosophy, teaching approaches, and beliefs when we first walk into that person’s room? We often form a strong first impression, then follow up with deeper browsing, a searching for links to the person’s thinking and how the person makes that thinking visible. Each teaching and learning space has an ambience and a message, and we intuitively pick up on this message. Room arrangement and materials send a message. Is the environment child- centered? What is the role of natural materials? What is the evidence of this space belonging to the children? The walls send yet another powerful message: How and where is the documen- tation placed? Can the children see it clearly, in order to comment further on past experiences? How are teachers collecting traces of children’s thinking and ideas? Do they have note-taking systems? Are cameras on hand? Do the children themselves make deci- sions about what to share or what not to share? Rather than serving as a way to judge, these types of observations can lead us to understanding the many ways that early childhood settings, and in particular their documentation, work to support the children. We can learn from the walls and the rooms of our colleagues. Using pedagogical documentation, we can do much more than display what has happened in our learning environment. We can dig deeper, searching for the under- lying motivations and ideas that the children are developing. We can comment on this analysis from the teacher’s perspective, bringing families and other interested readers into the complex circle of thinking that is teaching. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL