The dedication on the inside cover of Avril McMonagle’s new book ‘A Suitcase Full of Stories’ says it all about her perspective on early education: ‘To educators everywhere who allow education of the mind to play second fiddle to education of the heart’. Her belief in the fundamental importance of emotional well-being for learning supported by seeing the child as an individual springs from every page.

Now available here on Amazon (.COM and UK)   A Suitcase Full of Stories: Pedagogical Documentation for Early Education is aimed at Educators and Pedagogical Leaders, to bridge the ‘theory to practice’ gap around pedagogical documentation in early education. The book reveals a fresh and creative insight into documentation through stories as a powerful mechanism for listening-in, analysing, progressing and revisiting children’s well-being and learning.

Warmly and practically written, pages of the book are peppered with a wealth of documentation examples involving babies, toddlers and young children in a highly visual and accessible format.

For Avril, early childhood education has been a lifelong interest, passion and career and her belief in the power of meaningful early education for life outcomes has never faltered. Over the years, she has worked in early education from a variety of perspectives – as an educator, a lecturer, a company manager, an advisor, a mentor, a policy writer, a researcher, and an author. She believes that each role has given her solid grounding, perspective and understanding of early education from differing viewpoints.

Through the autonomy of her own business, Avril has continued her innovative work. She has successfully brought to the market a digital teaching and learning tool designed for educators in early education to support optimal learning and growth for young learners and to ensure compliance with quality standards.  Avril designed the mobile application in a way that creates an individual learning pathway for every child – regardless of age, ability or need and shares this with parents in real-time.

Just as the MOSAIC Educator system is making it mark in early childhood services across Ireland, the new book ‘A Suitcase full of Stories’ will continue Avril’s personal commitment and legacy towards early education. Shining a much-needed spotlight on educating the heart before educating the mind, her new book:

  • Foregrounds the interdependence of emotional learning and cognitive learning.
  • Emphasises the role of participative documentation in seeing and validating the individual child, their strengths, preferences and needs.
  • Provides Educators with clear guidance and practical examples to implement an ongoing cycle of pedagogical documentation including observations, analysing learning, and planning emergent curriculum.
  • Simplifies the Learning Story Approach providing numerous practical examples of different types of learning stories for babies, toddlers and young children.
  • Unpacks child voice and brings child participation to the centre of documentation practice.
  • Showcases the multi-modal functionality of Ped-tech (Pedagogical Technology) using the digital MOSAIC Educator Pedagogical Documentation System.
  • Highlights the role of the proficient educator and the characteristics and supports required for professional documentation standards.

A Suitcase Full of Stories is an essential resource for Educators and Pedagogical Leaders aiming to maximise the impact of meaningful documentation for the benefit of young children.

Order you copy here  A Suitcase Full of Stories: Pedagogical Documentation for Early Education


About the Author:

Avril McMonagle has dedicated her working life to early childhood education and possesses a diverse skills-set consisting of practical, academic, management and policy expertise accumulated over the past 30 years. Being at the forefront of a range of pioneering initiatives to enhance quality standards in early education nationally and internationally; the legacy of her work is well evidenced. Avril established her own business MOSAIC Digital Solutions for Early Education Ltd in 2019. The company flagship product is the MOSAIC Educator Pedagogical Documentation System – a digital application used by Educators to support a unique learning pathway for every child.