In Reggio Emilia, teachers make records of events in the life of the school as a tool for research. This has come to be known as ‘pedagogical documentation’ because of the important role it has in supporting reflective practice. (Dahlberg et all. 1999: 144). Pedagogical documentation consists of records that are made for the purpose of pedagogical research.
Pedagogical documentation could be described as visible records (written notes, photos, videos, audio recordings, children’s work) that enable teachers, parents and children to discuss, interpret and reflect upon what is happening from their various points of view, and to make choices about the best way to proceed, believing that rather than being an unquestionable truth, there are many possibilities.
The provision of actual documents makes possible the opportunity for both children and adults to revisit and to reflect on what has gone before. The documentation allows for many possibilities and although in some instances it may occur spontaneously it is usually the result of a pre determined intent which might include information that assists in determining how particular projects might proceed, data for a research project of the teachers related to how children learn, a communication with parents or as an advocacy for children and their rights both as citizens and in realising their potentials.