Portfolio of Child Observations | 1
Observation report instructions: carry out three observations of the same child, one must be timed, one written and the other your own choice.
In all the observations you must look at the child's physical, language, and social skills and ultimately their overall cognitive development. The report must be written up in the format: abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion and analysis. In the discussion and analysis you must tie together what you have observed with the theory of what would be expected of a child of the appropriate age.
The report must contain the following:
Abstract: where you outline briefly what you did and why, what you found and the recommendations,
Introduction: include information about the child observed, discuss the reasons for observing, assessing young children, ethical considerations, the use of norms, cultural bias etc.
Methods: where you explain the methods used, reasons for choice, limitations, strengths and weaknesses.
Results: evaluate the child's holistic development, list the three areas of development, physical, social and language, discuss the links between these areas,
refer to the stages of development and child development theory in making your judgments.
Discussion: summarize your findings, make recommendations for the child's learning and development.
Overall: mention why is it important to observe young children, what might the information be used for? What rights does the child have when being observed.
Observation is a popular research tool that is used to study the behaviour of children; renowned theorists such as Vygotsky, Piaget, and many more child physiologists have used this tool for their research, allowing them to come up with significant insights, resulting in theories that continue to influence psychology and education today.
Observation has been one of the best tools for research.
Observation is very effective as a means to perform initial exploration of an area which can then be further studied using more focused methods. It is also useful in the end stages of a study as a means of checking information collected in a different way.
In this study, the researcher employed three observation methods on a sixyear old male. The observations used were timed, controlled and participant observation. The observation was conducted in the hopes of detecting any
Portfolio of Child Observations | 3
developmental delays in the child, and come up with possible solutions in the event that some delays are noted. In particular, the study focused on three domains: cognitive, affective, and physical. But aside from these domains, other important details such as the child’s interests were discovered through observation, and thus were able to assist the researcher in developing teaching strategies that can help the subject overcome his delays.
In the United Kingdom, children enter early childhood programs at a much younger age than children in other countries. As such, standard forms of assessments have not been normally used for this age level. (Blenkin & Kelly 1992, p. 24) Things changed in the late 1980’s when the Education Reform Act was ratified. Under this act, assessment became mandatory for children finishing ending pre-school or early childhood grades before they formally enter elementary. This posed a challenge to early childhood teachers because the rate and breadth of development at this developmental stage makes it difficult to design an appropriate standardized assessment instrument that would address all these variables. In so far as early childhood education is concerned, there are two things that must be taken into consideration: the how and what of assessment; how the assessment will be conducted and what should be actually assessed in the young learner? (Teale 1988, p. 175)
In early childhood education programs, observation has been one of the...
Bibliography: Pahl, K. (1999) Transformations: Meaning Making in Nursery Education. Stoke
on Trent: Trentham Books.
172-183. Retrieved on February 11, 2008 from http://links.jstor.org/sici?
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