HQELE Key Element: Documentation

Documentation: A variety of means and methods to make learning visible to all involved; to display and interpret the processes and products of both child and adult learning.

Documentation is the process of making learning visible to all involved.  As such, it is integrally connected within a circle of inquiry that includes observation, documentation, reflection, preparation and implementation. Teachers use this process to develop what might be termed “planned possibilities,” a combination of activities and investigations that reflect children’s interests, teachers’ intentions and desired learning outcomes.

Project work starts with observations of children’s play and associated insights gained by the teacher. These are collectively discussed and “anticipatory webs” are designed to organize and expand our thinking about children’s learning and identify possible learning outcomes. Activities and investigations are then orchestrated within the classroom, and, as children engage in the process, pictures, narratives and artifacts are captured, preserved, discussed and displayed. The more thoroughly this is done, the deeper the understanding of children’s interests, efforts and outcomes on the part of all involved.

The hot spots represented on the panoramic tour represent a sample of this particular Key Element. Explore the Video Clips in this section to learn more.






Many strategies and elements included throughout this site are applicable to all students and their families. Additional information/resources related to students with disabilities and family engagement can be found within the HQELE Online Tool Overview and MiraCosta Child Development Center Overview

*These slideshow images are being used with explicit permission from MiraCosta College and their families for the sole purpose of the HQELE professional development online tool. All images remain the property of the California Department of Education, Special Education Division, SEEDS Project, A Special Project of the Sacramento County Office of Education and may not be published, exhibited, broadcast, posted on the Internet, sold, traded, shared, or used in any way not specified without the written permission of CDE- SEEDS Project.