Preschool Child observation
Within the school environs, the weather looked calm and vivid; the fields smelled shaper, in conjunction with a brighter sun and moderately taller grasses. My observation context was a local authority children's center. The center provides an Ofsted care for preschool children and babies between 0 and 5years. The center is classified to be outstanding by Ofsted since 2006 and has been working with children with other needs since 1970 (Reid, 2013).
The setting constituted of 12 children was of varied sexes, all various abilities like learning and physical difficulties. Also, the center is headed by a teacher and Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum guides the work and the babies learn through play. My merit was to make observations for 45 minutes and recorded the outcome after the session.
A 2.5 years old young girl was picked and shall refer to her as Sarah (pseudonym). I had no opportunity to be in contacts with Sarah's parents, however, the children's center informed the parents concerning my remit and who ultimately gave back a written consent.
During the observation which was based on Tavistock model (1973) took place afternoon. I sat at the back of the room, to ensure that my presence will go unnoticed. The room had typical array of various books, discoveries, toys, sand, computer and paint and emotions and the clutter of noises. Initially, it was entirely difficult to concentrate on Sarah alone. This is due to the fact that I am used to maintaining eye contacts and talking with children and thus failure to doing so was a great challenge. However, I watched Sarah intently and never making any judgments based on the information at hand from the staff. Ideally, I had an assumption of Sarah background information which had been ill-formed from speculations.
From this knowledge, I was in a position to focus on feeling and facts to accept or reject the preconceived hypothesis if the child could play as well as interact with other children. Based on the physical development, I watched Sarah keenly and seemed to play with sand by letting it sift quickly through her fingers as well as creating shapes and marks using her palms. She unsteadily toddled away when a younger boy wanted to engage in playing with her. This means that socially Sarah was underdeveloped. It was quite difficult to assess cognitive development as the time was quite limited but from the information I had acquired from the staff, I could visualize that the girl was indeed engaged in thinking and experimentation on various activities she engaged in while working with sand.
Based on her goals through playing and creation of her actions and thoughts, I contemplated Piaget's (1973) theory on the cognitive development of children, generally, the assumptions from Piaget's theory did not fulfill my assumptions since they were not concreted and fixed in regard to my child (Reid, 2013). The child talked less but verbally based on interacting with others. In regard to object permanence, the girl was observed to be a victim. Sarah had a tendency of touching and handling objects and from the observation made I concluded that the child had an understanding of the existence of the objects.
In conclusion, from all the developmental areas that came out clearly was the physical development which served to be more significant. This is because Sarah engaged more on physical activities and practical work such as playing with sand, modeling by use of sand and making of marks. Socio-emotional development was also evident but of little significance as Sarah personality hardly accommodated other children rather than herself hence poorly developed socially.
My reaction towards Sarahs developmental stages seemed normal and healthy (Charlesworth, 2013). However, next to Sarah, lay a toddler with cerebral palsy. This aroused a gush of emotions running through me due to the learning and mobility difficulties the child was experiencing and this sincerely got me off-guard. But on the other hand, I was so fascinated on how Sarah interacted actively with Realia.
Middle childhood observation
For this assignment, I observed a child who was 7 years; I will call him Martin born on January 18, 2010. The setting was at a park where he was with his mum and the observation was done for approximately 40 minutes. The park where I conducted my observations is parked with different children and also dogs are allowed. There is a significantly huge play station with slide and jungle-jims inclusive of a sandy area with typical playing equipments
Before I commenced the observation, I had to secure permission from Martins mother. Although she reluctantly accepted after I had persuaded and explained to her exhaustively as to why I was conducting the observation before she could fully grant me the permission to doing so. It was from a distance of a stones through from the mother where I engaged the child with the interview. Martin felt safe at this point due to the presence of the mother and talked just effectively as usual.
The initial question was for the child to tell me a bit about him and the family and the following was the answer that I received. My name is (Concealed) and that is my mother over there (as the boy points the direction the mother had sat) and then proceeding I have an elder sister called (Concealed)." And the boy stopped, I could not hesitate to ask Martin concerning the father, but the boy looked surprised and from the look of things, I concluded that probably Martins mother could be a single mother as Martin seemed lacking information concerning a male figure at their home and talked only of the mother.
Then I proceeded with the rest of the questions of which I had to rephrase some of them to ensure Martin gets them correctly and is able to answer effectively to the best of his knowledge and the following were the answers to each question:
What do you like to be after school?
I would like to be treating people just as how my mother does.
What are your heroes or people you admire?
Preferred not to say
What do you like to do with your best friend or friends?
I would like to play and eat ice cream together with my friends.
What makes a good friend?
A good friend is a friend who wants to play with me and cannot hurt me while we are playing and also loves me like my mother.
Lets say you found a large sum of money in an envelope, what would you do with it?
I would buy a big house and a vehicle for my mother.
What are your favorite foods?
"My favorite foods include Pizza, chocolate, French fries, and tacos."
What are your dislikes?
I dislike being beaten by mum and also see her angry with me.
What is your favorite activity?
I like playing computer games when I am at home and also I like going shopping with mum.
Do you have a favorite subject in school?
"Yes, mathematics is my favorite subject in school."
Do you know any jokes you can tell me?
Preferred not to say
If you wanted to pursue your parents to buy you a new computer or television set for your bedroom, how would you go about it?
I would tell mummy I need a computer and if she refuses to buy for me a will start crying?
What is your favorite book? Movie? Video game?
I like watching cartoons because they are funny and make me happy.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be a doctor so that I can be treating people.
What do you think is a big problem for kids in the world today?
Preferred not to say
If you could talk to the president of the United States, what would you like to say to him
Preferred not to say
In conclusion, the major theme displayed while providing responses by Martin was judgment. Based on my observation the cognitive development of Martin comparatively to other children of similar age is normal (Charlesworth, 2013). He had a good memory and effective communication skills and within the age bracket, he is entirely clever based on my perceptions. The responses Martin gave outlined that he had a good socio-emotional development as there were no any forms or anger or rage but he answered each question accordingly without getting annoyed. Generally, I did not find anything very surprising only that the boy was a bit sharp. Lastly, I learned that you must be systematic while interviewing children otherwise they easily get confused if you interview them anyhow and thus your interview may be null and void.
Charlesworth, R. (2013). Understanding child development. Cengage Learning.
Reid, S. (2013). Developments in infant observation: The Tavistock model. Routledge.
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