Learning stories are used in early childhood education in Germany and throughout the world as a form of assessment and pedagogical documentation. The main objective of a learning story is to carve out the learning dispositions of an individual child by describing a certain situation which the teacher reckons to be important for the child. The concept aims to record children’s development in a way that is child-centred, non-standardised, holistic and socioculturally embedded. In order to obtain a picture of how this ambitious aim is pursued in practice, 338 learning stories from 32 early childhood education (ECE) centres in Germany were analysed. The analysis shows that the aims of the learning story concept are only partially achieved. In particular, the writers of the learning stories often do not make the stories’ subjective character clear, and tend to only focus on a limited number of the learning dispositions that underlie the concept. Many learning stories evaluate children’s abilities by way of comparison with a theoretical normal development. The form of the stories (language, text, use of pictures) often makes them less accessible to children.
Early Childhood Education Journal – Springer Journals
Published: May 5, 2017
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