For this assignment, you will complete an observation of a child between the ages of 1 and 10. You will write a paper which carefully describes the behavior and discusses that behavior in terms of child developmental psychology.
You can choose to visit a day care or nursery school and observe a randomly chosen child for an hour, or you can choose to observe the child of a friend or family member. Observe different types of play involvement and other interactions. You should be an unbiased observer, meaning that you should not interact with the child yourself. Take note of everything the child says and does, everything that is said or done to the child, and every gesture and facial expression or movement he or she makes.
If you do not have access to a child you can observe, then you can observe a child at play in one of the following videos:
Designing a chart of anticipated behavior prior to your observation should prove helpful. Leave space for unanticipated behaviors. You should be unbiased and remain uninfluenced by your own attitudes and opinions when observing. Don’t be judgmental or condemnatory – just record your observations. Note the time of your observations every 10 minutes and include reference to these notations in your paper. It is important to observe the amount and variety of activity that occurs within a specified time interval. However, do NOT specifically identify the child by name, only by gender and age.
Read Guidelines for Effective Observation (source: CTE Online)
Writing Your Child Observation Paper
Re-read your notes and the module readings to determine what aspects of childhood physical development you wish to focus on.
Write a one paragraph introduction. Include in the introduction a description of the circumstances of the observation and pertinent information about the child, such as age and gender.
Select five physical activities or behaviors the child exhibited. Describe each activity/behavior and connect it to a concept from this module. Was the child’s physical activity/behavior appropriate, given the child’s age? What milestones has this child already reached, and what milestones do they have yet to reach?
In a concluding paragraph, summarize your conclusions. Include any factors that may have impacted on the behavior of the child.
Include your original rough observation notes at the end of your paper.