Pedagogical Documentation: Phases, Stages & Progressions

What is pedagogical documentation?

  • It is the pedagogy of “listening”
  • It is listening with all of our senses by curating photographs, video, recorded conversations and written observations to make learning visible
  • It is the process of “making meaning” to understand our students thinking in order to guide instruction to fit their needs
  • It is a reflective process for educators to understand our own roles in the teaching/learning environment
  • It is a process where learning is analysed through shared dialogue between teachers, students and parents so that future learning paths can be supported

Pedagogical Documentation Phases, Stages and Progressions

An Overview of Approaches

There were quite a few resources that I came across that help me to refine, clarify and define my own pedagogical processes. I began by reading through the four key practices of documentation outlined in Visible Learners, realizing these were the foundations upon which the phases of pedagogical documentation presented by the Ontario Ministry of Education were built. Seitz' (2008) stages of the documenter experience helped me visualize the process, and Wien's (2011) progressions of documentation, summarized and further explained by Stacey (2015) were practical and hands on tips to help make documentation work in my practice.

Why is pedagogical documentation relevant to the Makerspace?

Pedagogical documentation can be a means to:

  • Reveal what and how students are learning in the makerspace
  • Adapt learning experiences in the makerspace to meet student interests and needs
  • Inform future instruction, practices and next steps for incorporating making across the curriculum
  • Build community and partnering for real learning (Prensky; 2005)
  • Question, reflect, collaborate and facilitate meaningful dialogue about learning with colleagues and students
  • Move us from a “culture of teaching” to a “culture of learning”