An action research project which investigated the views of children, families and staff about how children’s experiences were being documented in a Edinburgh nursery and tested ways to bring documentation into harmony with Froebelian principles.
This project was a small piece of action research undertaken at the Cowgate Under 5’s Centre, a Froebelian nursery in Edinburgh.
As public investment into Scottish early learning and childcare (ELC) increases, so does the requirement to observe, assess, and track young children’s learning against developmental outcomes. At the time we applied for this grant, Cowgate Under 5’s Centre was using a commercial, online learning journal tool, which replaced their previous, paper-based system of documentation. Practitioners were also transitioning to a ‘Lived Stories’ approach, which involved narrative observations addressed directly to the child. However, there were concerns at the nursery about how well the online journal meshed with Froebelian principles, if the online journal was amenable to a Lived Stories approach, and whether there were better ways to document children’s learning and Lived Stories.
Our action research project investigated the views of children, families, and staff about how children’s experiences were being documented, and tested ways to bring documentation into harmony with Froebelian principles.
The original project objectives were:
1. To answer the question, “What do children, parents, and staff think is important in how we document children’s experiences at nursery?”
2. From this learning, to experiment creatively with documentation, grounded in Froebelian principles. This may include digital and/or paper-based approaches, or a blend of both.
3. To engage in knowledge exchange and dialogue about the learning from the project, in both academic and practice networks, nationally and internationally.