What are Learning Stories?
Learning Stories are an important assessment tool used by early childhood educators to observe, record and share the learning that occurs during child-initiated play. The story focuses on the child’s disposition such as confidence, curiosity, persistence, concentration, independence and cooperation rather than skills or knowledge. It takes into account elements that influence the child’s learning, including background, context, interaction, decisions, actions and consequences.
Educators are also encouraged to draw on their personal understanding of the child, professional expertise and their own insights. Photographs of activities and artwork by the child are often included to create an engaging and accessible record.
Families feel part of the picture
Anecdotal evidence and testimonials demonstrate that Learning Stories help families feel better connected to their child and more informed about their learning journey. They provide a valuable portal into the time the child spends with educators and their peers and a vehicle to help families and children talk about their experiences at daycare. This can open to the door to ongoing conversations between parents and educators about their child’s interests and how they can be further supported at home.
Children like Learning Stories because as the “hero” of the story, they feel heard and valued. The stories can also be incorporated into the child’s portfolio to add another dimension to their record of learning and development.
Helping educators meet reporting standards
Early Childhood Educators are required to have written evidence of a child’s progress towards the Learning Outcomes. They must also document how they plan using elements of observation, recording, interpreting, evaluating and planning.
Learning Stories are not a compulsory format but they do tick a lot of those boxes. They reinforce the importance of play and promote planning for individuals and groups. While each story is a reflection of an individual child’s learning, they can also be used to benefit the childcare centre as a whole by prompting discussion at staff meetings and encouraging staff collaboration.
Digital solution for modern families and time poor teachers
While early childhood educators understand the value of documenting learning journeys, their primary focus is on spending time with the children. Finding the balance between creating detailed records and interacting with the children is an ongoing challenge.
Kindyhub, the Australian early childhood documentation software, offers a streamlined approach to creating and sharing Learning Stories that frees up valuable resources. Educators can quickly upload their narratives, photos and plans for future learning to Kindyhub.
Families can then access that information on a daily basis in a secure environment and real-time format. “Kindyhub can create customised digital templates for individual centres, making it easy for educators to create Learning Stories online, add them to existing portfolios and share them with families,” Founder and Co-director Danielle Bennett said. “Parents are eager to see what their child has been doing while away from home and how they are progressing. They can do that 24/7 with Kindyhub.”
For more information about how Kindyhub can provide an integrated solution for early childhood reporting for your day care or early learning centre, call (02) 8916 7421 or contact us.