Embarking on a collective journey spanning over two decades in early childhood education, we have witnessed a myriad of documentation methodologies, from traditional Floor Books to contemporary Mind Maps. In this exploration, we’ll delve into the current trend of employing technology to document children’s learning and understand why, at Wonderschool, a distinctive approach has been chosen.
1. Cultivating Genuine Relationships
At Wonderschool, the establishment of authentic relationships with the children under our care is paramount. The team believes that meaningful connections and moments lie at the core of early childhood education. Devices such as cameras and iPads are consciously avoided to prevent disruption to these genuine interactions. Instead, the preference is for quiet observation and recording of moments that contribute to a comprehensive summative assessment for each child.
2. Prioritising Educators’ Time
Amidst the multifaceted responsibilities of early childhood educators, Wonderschool places a premium on their time. From providing enriching learning experiences to completing compliance checklists, the focus is on allowing educators to be fully present with the children. Distractions posed by digital documentation are minimised, ensuring educators can devote their attention to supervision, conversation, and assistance.
3. Upholding Children’s Rights and Privacy
Respecting the privacy rights of children, both in the present and future, is a core value at Wonderschool. Acknowledging the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the team emphasises the ethical and legal framework that society must adhere to. This includes respecting the decisions of families who opt out of having their child’s photos posted online, safeguarding the child’s right to privacy.
4. Managing Expectations
Wonderschool endeavours to foster a culture that prioritises quality over quantity in documentation. The emphasis is on authentic descriptions of a child’s learning and skills in bi-annual summative assessments rather than a flood of photos. Recognising the stress created by unrealistic expectations, the team believes in the power of face-to-face conversations about a child’s day.
In navigating the dynamic landscape of early childhood education, Wonderschool’s decision to not fully engage in online documentation is deliberate. We value authentic relationships, respect children’s rights, and manage expectations. Through a commitment to meaningful learning experiences, Wonderschool aims to ensure that trust in our educators translates into the best outcomes for every child.