Documentation serves different purposes during different stages of learning. The criteria for what counts as quality documentation depend on the context. What seems to remain constant is that quality documentation focuses on some aspect of learning—not just "what we did." It prompts questions and promotes conversations among children and adults that deepen and extend learning.
In this section we offer examples of documentation created for three different purposes: 1) to aid teachers' own reflections; 2) to share back with learners; and 3) to be shared more widely. (These purposes map onto the resource titled Documentation: When Does it Make Learning Visible, in the Resources and Tools section.)
These examples are not intended to serve as models of documentation. Rather, we hope to provide a sense for the wide variety of forms documentation can take. The examples range from visual essays created by experienced documenters in Reggio Emilia to educators in the U.S. who are just beginning to document in their classrooms and schools. The examples are listed in order of youngest to oldest age group represented. We plan to add new examples to this section as we continue to work with teachers.