Observation and documentation are the basis of a reflected pedagogical work. Observing children also means paying attention to them, i.e. seeing things in the world from the perspective of the specific child and trying to understand the child as a whole. At the same time, it serves the critical reflection of our role as adults/educators. The aim of educational observation and documentation is to capture and understand the child's actions and stage of development as objectively as possible without being influenced by our own subjective perception and value judgements.
As a sponsor, we aim to constantly support our pedagogical professionals in reflecting on themselves and questioning their observations. It is therefore desirable for an educator not to carry out his or her observation on his or her own, but to exchange information with a colleague in all phases.
Observation and documentation are to be seen as a process-like sequence that goes through several phases. It begins with a thorough planning of the observation. This is followed by the implementation, documentation and interpretation of the findings and, if necessary, a consequence, e.g. a support measure or intervention, a decision or an educational approach.
Similar to the language development integrated into everyday life, we also use the IPS method of Kornelia Schlaaf-Kirschner for the development documentation. Depending on age, two different sheets are used:
The procedures serve to visually represent and concisely depict the developmental process of a child. In the previously mentioned development talks, which the pedagogical professionals conduct twice in a year with the parents, these documents are presented to the parents, discussed in detail with them and the educational goals for the child defined.
In addition to the development discussions, we also work with portfolios. The word portfolio consists of the two Latin words "portare" ("to carry") and "folium" ("leaf") and refers to a collection of documents. The aim is to create a collection of personal documents for each child. The child is given the opportunity to help shape the portfolio, whether through painted pictures, crafts or writing.The introduction of digitised documentation and portfolio software (presumably linked to the KiTaPLUS management system) is planned for the calendar year 2020.