Mindsets to Avoid and Seek When Making Documentation Panels

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By George Forman, University of Massachusetts and Elizabeth Pufall, Boulder Journey School

This resource article begins with a brief definition of documentation along with reasons why we should document children's work and play. The article continues with a set of 12 mindsets, principles for making documentation panels that explain the educational value of an experience that has been documented. The mindsets can be treated as guidelines for creating panels for study and reflection by parents, colleagues, and community members, and of course, children. Each mindset is composed of formats to avoid and formats to seek, along with documentation that illustrates what you should seek and avoid. All 12 mindsets have been tested and revised as a result of feedback from more than 300 teachers who have participated in Videatives eCourses and conferences. Examples of mindsets included in the article are listed below:

  • Mindset #1 Avoid: Show the Fun - Seek: Explain the Reason
  • Mindset #3 Avoid: Children are Cute - Seek: Children are Competent
  • Mindset #4 Avoid: Listing or Counting - Seek: Current Issues
  • Mindset #9 Avoid: The Wonderful Shot - Seek: The Interesting Problems
  • Mindset #11 Avoid: Unrelated Sequential Descriptions - Seek: Connected Description, Story Telling

Length of text and image file(no video): 14 pages