Back to I Believe…(Philosophy)

I believe that every child’s voice is important.  Each child’s voice should be encouraged, respected, applauded, and paid close attention to.

Documenting children’s real ideas and real words helps give children back their voices.



Documentation is a pedagogy I practice through writing down children’s ideas and questions on chart paper, bulletin boards, chalk or whiteboards, posters, as captions to pictures, on sticky notes, and in portfolios, as well as through photo and video documentation, often led by the students themselves. Through documentation we honour Learning Stories, the processes of children’s learning, rather than the products alone.


Ex. Grade One’s words about rocks, written down and put on the bulletin board alongside pictures and student work:

“Why are there different kinds of rocks?” – S

“The whole world is made from rocks because meteors came down to Earth.  They were really big, but they smashed into pieces to make rocks.”  – X

“Igneous rocks are made from lava.  Our lava was actually glue.”  – L

“They can come from sand and water.” – A

“I have seen rocks in the backyard beside the fence and I collect rocks.” – T

“I have seen rocks in the backyard where the flowers are, and at the beach.” – M

“I named my rock Sun because it is orange like the sun.  It comes from the ocean.” – L

“I think we will learn about whatever this word is…geology.”  – L


Ex. Using words, pictures and video to document student voice.

note: Student faces and names have been blurred out where applicable, for privacy protection.

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Posts that help explain my perspective on voices include:

Sharing, Trust and the Future: thinking about how social networking technologies can help students to find an empowered voice

Incredible Voicethread Collaboration: how teacher Kevin Jarrett uses Voicethread to help students and experts speak up with each other

Provocative Posting; Commenting Documentation: the importance of authentic conversation between students

Unlearning with Podcasts by Laura Michaluk (and my comment on this post): student voice going international

Skype…Another Side by Allysa Johnson (and my comment on this post): listening to students’ opinions


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