Making Listening Visible: Digital documentation of Student Learning in a Reggio Emilia Inspired Music Program
Presentation: Matthew Yanko
Session C | 10:05 – 10:45 | Location: Room 1003
Inspired by the municipally funded early childhood centers of Reggio Emilia, Italy, this study adapts their documentation methods to create blogs that help foster reflections on learning experiences in the elementary school music room. In a Reggio inspired classroom, panels and walls are covered with texts and photographs that illustrate the learning process of projects and activities. As it is a challenge to capture music making experiences in this manner, this study investigates how digital technology can aid in the communication of student learning. In keeping the reflective element and student voice at the heart of this project, students in four classes from kindergarten to grade six participated in documenting their learning experiences with photographs, video clips, audio samples, and reflections. Informal observations and an analysis of data from the posts show that this approach provokes visual memory, encourages children to revisit and expand on projects and ideas, and allows them to take on ownership of their learning journey. Findings also show that digital technology enables a triadic connection between parents, students, and teacher, and has shed light on the importance on each of these voices in this approach. However, further study is needed to see how these can assist in improving learning and better understanding of students. Having children partake in digital documentation provides an opportunity for them to obtain a deeper connection to their learning experience by becoming an integral part of the assessment process, and in turn, gives value to their critical thinking, judgment, and self-worth.