What are observations? Finding out what children can do & recording it Evidence of child behaviour & development Factual descriptions of child’s actions & language Observations help us to plan ‘next steps’ for children Why do we observe? To inform our planning To review the effectiveness of areas of provision & use of resources To identify learning opportunities and plan relevant & motivating experiences To reflect on our own practise To protect children To develop our understanding of areas of learning and development To understand how children deal with conflict To identify changes in behaviour
To see how children interact with other children and adults To understand individual children’s needs These points will help you with E1, E2, E4, E5, D1: E1: 0-3 3-7 7-12 12-16 In two areas of development (DO NOT CHOOSE PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT) E2: Choose a different age range and describe how children develop in the same two areas as you chose in E1. E4: In the observations carry out three observations of the same child in one of the age ranges you have chosen in E1 or E2. E5: Use three different observations techniques The observation needs to be dated, have the child’s date of birth & age DO NOT INCLUDE: child’s name & placement name
Signed by placement Technique used Aim Observation techniques: Naturalistic: This is a factual written description of what you see & hear that is occurring naturally. Structured: A factual account that describes what a child is doing in a pre-set activity. Advantages: Only need a notebook & pen Provides data that can be interpreted later Naturalistic observations are spontaneous Disadvantages: Events happen quickly so may not be able to write everything down Need to write up quickly afterwards otherwise details may be forgotten
Physical Development Child A Child is sitting at drawing table with class teacher by her side. Reaches out with right hand to get drawing paper & pencil. Holds pencil using thumb and first two fingers. Places a container on the page and draws round it. She then draws a circle in the middle of the page. Has good control of pencil. When finished drawing puts the pencil down. Stands up. Using her ...
Focus target child observations: The focus is on one child for a specific amount of time, you use pre-coded categories to record what you see. Advantages: Focus is on one child Precise data Disadvantages: Can be limiting in information given Codes have to be learnt before use Observations have to take place without the child knowing they are being observed. Time: Advantages: A collection of precise data Easily understood by professionals and careers Disadvantages: Remembering the time when doing time samples After the first session the child may be absent
Observing one child without making it obvious they are being observed Diary/Longitudinal Study: These are separate observations done over a period of weeks or months. Advantages: Get to know the child really well Closely monitor changes over a period of time Areas of concern might be spotted early Disadvantages: Child might move away Movement & Flows: Using a plan of the room to chart & record the child’s movements. Advantages: Helpful in planning the use of equipment Disadvantages: Limited use Checklist: The child’s development is checked against a list of specific mistakes that a child could reach of a certain age.
Advantages: Quick way of presenting lots of information Results are clear and instant Can be used with longitudinal observation in a child study Disadvantages: Objectivity- don’t assume may not give a true picture if child is un cooperative Sociogram: Used to look at one particular child’s social relationship patterns of all the children in the group. Advantages: Clearly shows popular children in a group Shows which children might need help developing social relationships Disadvantages: Relationships in a group can change daily Too much can be read into the data