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Child observation

Select a child whose age is 0 to 12. Observe the child from 30-60 minutes. Interview the parents.
1. Identify and describe the developmental stage of the child. Describe the physical and biosocial development for that stage. Identify the family structure, socio-economic status and cultural factors. Use your observation and interview to support your discussion.
2. Use 2 different developmental theorists to explain the childs development (i.e Piaget, Freud, Erikson, Kohlberg, etc.). Describe each theorist and relate their findings to your selected child. Again, use you observations and interview to support your discussion.
3. Supplement your report with at least 2 outside academic sources relating to the theorist and/or development stage.
4. Use your integrated finding to identify any problems in this childs development. How does the environment or other factors influence the childs development?
5. You may include pictures, work samples, awards etc. to help illustrate how the child functions in his/her developmental stage.
In early childhood development and education, observation plays an important role as an assessment tool. Through the observation of a child, the learning and the effectiveness of the instructional strategies used are evaluated. Through the observation, information on any weak areas in the development of the child will be established. The study was administered through observation, because children of the subject’s age are less likely to respond well to written tests and examinations. Through the exercise and the interview to be held with mother, the behavior of the child will be explored – as he goes on with his daily tasks, at their classroom (Sapsford & Jupp, 2006).
The subject of the exercise is a six-year old boy called John, who has been attending a private nursery learning center. From the interview with the mother, I have collected the information that he is born of Iraqi parents, and lives with the parents and two older brothers of age 10 and 8. The family falls under the upper-middle class income level, and the parents have studied in the US, therefore, they speak English throughout the day (Fawcett, 2003). Due to their professional lifestyle, the parents do not actively identify with the Iraqi culture often, and they also have to spend more time on their work. At this middle childhood stage, the mother reported that John dresses himself, plays with friends and ties his shoes. From the observation, I saw that he has entered into friendships with other children at school, and the mother reports the same of the home. He is also showing confidence in sports, school work and friends.
From the report given by the mother, John has been showing more independence from the family and parents, he is thoughtful about the future and seems to understand his position in the family better. Also, he appears to value friendships and teamwork more and he often shows the need to feel accepted and liked by his friends. The mother reported that John has been showing better motor coordination, including that he has learnt to ride a bicycle and he is able to move to musical beats. From the observation, he has developed better abstract thinking and deeper reasoning, and appears to learn through language and logic. According to the mother, he appears to have problems with making choices; he shows it by showing the need to have a all he is supposed to share with the siblings.
According to Piaget’s theory, a six year old should show the characteristics of a 2-6 year old and a 7-11 year old. In the case of John, he is able to represent his ideas with images and words and is growing into logical reasoning (White, Hayes & Livesey, 2005). Some of the evident characteristics include egocentrism and pretending. Like it was anticipated, he appears to be going through the concrete operational stage, which he is approaching. The signs include that he is showing a clear understanding of the quantity of concrete materials, including the pouring of water into glasses of different sizes; he understands the change using his developed abstract thinking. For example, during the observation, I noticed that he was able to stack piles of stacking cups easily. John’s progress shows that his different areas of development have progressed well.
According to Freud, the latent stage (6-11 years) the child develops values, social skills and relationships with people outside the immediate family and peers. In John’s case, this is true, because he has been sowing independence from the family and has formed friendships at school and home, and he is showing signs of values and social skills (White, Hayes & Livesey, 2005). For example, during the observation, it was evident that John could talk about his feelings and thoughts, especially when playing with other friends. For example, in one case, it was clear that he wanted to have the game go like he wanted, and was unable to wait for the turns of the peers during the game. This may show that John’s social and mental development has started crossing to the latent stage (6-11 years).
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