We believe, and have found in practice, that the documenting learning framework—making thinking about learning processes visible, meaningful, shareable, and amplified—provides students and educators—as active learners—with an interconnected, metacognitive approach for creating evidence of their learning.
The documenting learning framework aids learners in owning their learning process, as well as assisting others in their learning growth. When deep learning experiences are visible and involve students directly in the documentation process, it enables them to identify moments worth remembering. When teachers are co-creators with their students, both gain valuable insights that inform future learning and empower students as engaged learners.
Educators will find the information shared in our book thought-provoking and invaluable for improving pedagogical and heutagogical practices, including those involved in:
- Personalized learning and ensuring student voice,
- Contemporary learning and assessment alternatives,
- Competency-based classrooms,
- Technology integration that transforms teaching and learning,
- Social-media engagement to foster learning and teaching,
- Reggio Emilia’s framework for pedagogical documentation, or
- Becoming a National Board Certified teacher.
As the title indicates: this book is a guide. A how-to that provides insights into contemporary learning and teaching documentation practices in classroom and professional learning environments. There are other documenting learning books available that have a similar call for observing, recording, interpreting, and sharing to positively impact student engagement and learning. While we were inspired by Reggio Emilia’s early learning philosophy; and affirmed by the book Visible Learners, which shares practices for fostering K-12 learning through documentation, A Guide to Documenting Learning is unique because it:
- Extends the use of documentation for all learners—pre-K through lifelong learners.
- Uses the power of technology to amplify teaching and learning beyond the walls of classrooms and schools.
- Expands students and teachers sharing beyond displaying and discussing their learning with peers at the same school.
- Focuses on amplifying to reach from parents and a local community to a global community in dynamic ways.
- Takes advantage of transformative teaching and learning opportunities through authentic uses of social media.
- Encourages educators to document, reflect, and share their professional learning beyond same-site colleagues to inform immediate or future teaching and learning.
While the documenting learning framework is not meant to be considered an add-on:
- We are not advocating you document everything every day, every lesson, or in every unit.
- We acknowledge that documenting is a process. There is a learning curve involved, and putting it into practice will help you and your students improve its use and application.
Documenting learning is not the answer to all teaching and learning problems:
- We do not have every answer related to documenting learning figured out. We are continuing to search, research, pilot, revise, retry, share, and asking for feedback to become better at our documenting work.