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The Value of Observing and Recording

"The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking." —Robert H. Schuller


Lella Gandini and Carolyn Pope Edwards have edited an excellent resource in Bambini: The Italian Approach to Infant/Toddler Care (New York: Teachers College Press, 2001). In the book Gandini has this to say about the importance of observing and recording....

"By observing and listening to children with care and attention, we can discover a way of truly seeing and getting to know them. By doing so we also become able to respect them for who they are and what they would like to communicate to us. We know that to an attentive eye and ear infants communicate a great deal about themselves long before they can speak. Already at this stage, observing and listening is a reciprocal experience, because in observing how the children learn, we learn....

"However, to be able to examine and reflect, we have to record what we saw and heard, we have to leave significant traces of our observations. These could include using notes that we jot down or write in an extended way, or making audiotapes that gather the voices and words of children in their dialogues or in our conversations with them. We can take photographs and slides, or make videotapes that show teachers and children in action. The children's work itself, and photographs of the children's work, must be considered essential traces along with these."

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