Templates and Documentation
Is it okay to use templates when documenting children’s learning?
Yes!!! I am so sick of hearing rubbish like “you can’t get exceeding using a template” or “the program has to be in a scrapbook, or on a computer or IPad.” What a load of childcare whispers!
We constantly use templates every day – think about the forms you fill in, the checklists you complete, the on-line programs you may use. Why do some educators have such a fear about using a template for programming? Are templates just misunderstood? Templates are just lines on a page so why all of a sudden have they gone out of fashion?
An open template without a heap of boxes that need completing is perfect for documenting the curriculum. An open template such as a Curriculum Planning Sheet allows educators to document rich and significant learning not just the activities. It is no different from a scrapbook or large art book. It allows professional judgement and open meaningful learning to be documented with evaluation and reflection.
We do not need templates which have boxes for every outcome because learning is holistic and interrelated. If a box is there, educators often have the urge to fill it with information that adds nothing to our understanding of the learning that took place -they just write for the sake of filling a box. We used boxes in the past because we programmed for separate domains in isolation but we don’t do this anymore. We have an open curriculum that allows us to document learning that is significant and meaningful, and which is assessed holistically rather than forced to fit in a box on the page.
So remember – “It is all about the quality of the documentation that matters, not what it is written on.”