How do you document your learning

Perceiving and documenting individual learning progress using the example of "Tree of Knowledge" - Swedish solutions

Marianne and Lasse Berger, Bremen

Children are active co-creators of their own knowledge. You are rich in resources, curious and have your own strength and desire to learn. This requires active educators who face the challenge of seeing the possibilities of children and adapting to them.

The task of the educators is to keep the children's desire for learning alive by observing the children's play and paying attention to the unconscious knowledge that the children continuously acquire. They make the children aware of their own learning and help them reflect on their experiences.

Observation and documentation thus become an important instrument for educational support. The point of view plays an important role here. What do we mean by development and learning? Do we have a positive image of the child or do we first look at the deficits? It depends on our type of observation what conclusions we draw for our planning. Our feedback influences the child's perception of their own abilities, their self-image. Good documentation should strengthen the child in the awareness "I can do something!"

The promotion of social and emotional skills is conceptually anchored in all Swedish curricula and takes up a large part of practical work .

It is assumed that the greater the self-confidence, the greater the ability to empathize with other people, and at the same time the greater the chances of influencing both one's own situation and that of others.

The "tree of knowledge" is a documentation that is appreciative and positive. It can be used in preschool as well as in school, can be set up in different age groups and then continued into adolescence.

His goals:

  • develop children's ability to reflect on their own development.
  • to strengthen their self-confidence.
  • develop the educators' understanding of the children's learning process.
  • to make the development of the child visible.
  • to see the connection between the development of the children and the activities carried out.
  • to provide a basis for development talks between child - parent - educator.

The tree of knowledge - for children and adolescents aged 1-16 years

- a slightly different way of documenting development and learning -

The “Tree of Knowledge” is a joint education plan for preschool and school, developed in the municipality of Halmstad in Sweden. It is an excellent illustration of the holistic view of the child that characterizes the Swedish education system. Here the all-Swedish curricula for pre-school and compulsory school are brought together so that one can follow the development and learning of the child from the first to the 16th year of life.

This curriculum is in the shape of a tree:


The roots of the tree describe the child's development from five different perspectives: socially, emotionally, intellectually, motorically and verbally.
In the crown you can find all the goals of the Swedish elementary school. It covers grades 1 - 9 and is compulsory for all students. There are no grades up to 8th grade, instead regular development talks with parents and children.

The development of personal skills, getting to know cultural and social values ​​and the acquisition of technical knowledge are seen as a unit in this model. Preschool, school and after-school care center take on specific tasks that correspond to the age and development of the child.

On the one hand, this book is intended for educators. The educational team can gather around this book to discuss material and choice of methods to achieve the stated goals. On the other hand, it is suitable as a Documentation material, as a book for every child, in which it is marked how far the child / adolescent has come with their learning and which goals they have already achieved. The Strengthen , not documented the defects. Because: "Every child should be able to climb at their own pace and learn in the rhythm as interest and maturity arise."

Since this documentation is intended to follow the child from entry into preschool to the end of compulsory school, it facilitates transitions, e.g. the transition from preschool to school. Through the markings in the tree, the receiving educators can see at a glance how far the child has come in conquering competencies and can thus continue to challenge and encourage them without major breaks.

In addition, with the help of such documentation, the child can follow and reflect on his own development and learning. It's about empowering students to reflect on their own learning and encouraging them to take as much responsibility as possible for their work.

And finally: As a basis for development talks with parents, this lovingly designed book is unsurpassed, because it not only shows what your own child can already do, but also illustrates the connection between basic skills - the roots - and school learning - even for parents who are less educated. the treetop.

There have also been good experiences with the combination “Tree of Knowledge” and “Portfolio”.

The was translated into German and published "Tree of Knowledge" by Marianne and Lasse Berger, Rotdornallee 89, 28717 Bremen. E-mail: