What is a student enrollment?
VFAST has the potential to serve many purposes during the children’s learning experience. When defining documentation, we must think of it as a process, an action, a verb, “a systematic act of collecting, interpreting and reflecting on concrete traces of learning” By centering our attention on children’s learning, documentation can serve as valuable teaching, research and assessment tool.
Looking at how children think and learn and how ideas evolve is not the only focus of VFAST Students documentation, but it is a central focus. One of the primary features of documentation as practiced in VFAST, is a focus on how and what children learn.
Documentation typically includes samples of the children’s work, photographs of the children engaged in the project work, and comments and transcripts of conversations. Examples of the children’s work and reflections on processes can be displayed in the classrooms.High quality documentation of children’s work and ideas contributes to the quality of an early childhood program in many ways:
It Makes Learning Visible
Documentation is important to make the learning visible to its audience. By providing evidence of the children’s learning in all areas of the child’s development through photographs, transcripts of conversations and artifacts of their work displayed, we can visibly see the learning process. These beliefs provide a pedagogical basis for making learning and learners visible by showing:
- Learning is purposeful
- Learning is social
- Learning is representational
- Learning is empowering
- Learning is emotional
Documentation after student enrollment not only allows us to make-visible the learning of group and individual learning but can promote learning within the group. When students learning is documented, children can re-visit and interpret their learning experiences and how to develop these experiences further.
Making learning visible through documentation provides educators information about children’s learning and progress that may not be evident in formal assessments, checklists and standardized tests
It Respects the Child’s Work as Treasured
By displaying the children’s work, efforts, ideas and learning in a beautiful and respectful way supports our value in children to be capable, thoughtful, and creative. Taking children’s ideas and work seriously conveys to children that their efforts, intentions and ideas are taken seriously.
Children will also take their work seriously which encourages them to work in a responsible, joyful and dedicated way. The learning process and results will be more satisfying for them if their learning process is recognized, appreciated and displayed in a respectful manner.
It Helps Teacher Planning and Assessment
Teachers use documentation to continuously plan based on evidence in documentation as work progresses. Teachers use the documentation to discuss ideas and thoughts and new possibilities with the children during their work. Planning decisions can be made based on what individuals or groups of children have found interesting, stimulating, or challenging. The documentation provides ongoing planning and evaluation that can be done by the team of adults who work with the children.
It Enhances Children’s Learning
Children's documentation can be contributed to the depth of children’s learning from their assignments and other work experiences. With the student enrollment children can “become further interested, curious and confident as they intend the meaning of what they have achieved”.
By preparing and displaying evidence of the children’s learning experiences, the children can re-visit their experience and work which may bring new understandings and more in-depth thinking, questioning, and dialogue. Documentation of children’s ideas, thoughts and feelings is a great way to stimulate memories of experiences.
It Encourages Parent Participation
Sharing documented work at school with parents is a great way for parents to participate in their child’s learning in a more intimate way. Student enrollment also allows for the parents to understand the work and learning that their child is engaged in and think about ways they can contribute to the work in a thoughtful way.
By many ways parents can be involved and contribute to the assignments after they examine documentation:
- By listening to their child’s thoughts and ideas by helping them to collect materials they may need
- By helping them record their ideas to paper
- By making suggestions