Begin immediately to secure children to observe in their home setting. Consider
using children from your church or asking to use children of faculty or staff at
Evangel. When you contact the parents, identify yourself and ask if you may
observe their child in some typical activities and interactions with parent(s) and
siblings for approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours. State that this is part of an assignment
for this class; be specific that you are NOT coming as an expert on raising
children but to supplement your learning from the textbook. Work out the details
about a good time to do the observing, who will be there, the length of time, and
what the parent will be willing for you to do such as checking reflexes, and doing
simple tests such as object permanence, conservation, etc.
You may observe children in teams of two students (no more than two students
observing the same child at the same time), or you may observe children by
yourself. Each student needs to turn in his/her own individual report for the
class. Utilizing suggestions given in this handout and ideas in the textbook,
focus initially on describing what you see. As you complete your observations,
ask the parent for any comments he or she would like to make about the
physical, cognitive, psychological/emotional, social and moral development of the
child. Later, when you are completing the report, you may include some
speculations about interpretations. Following your observation, a short thank-you
note to the parent(s) would be appropriate and probably appreciated.
1. Babysitting during an observation
2. Only playing with the child; you are there to observe him/her.
3. Reporting on a past experience with a child.
4. Using a child from a practicum for your observation, unless you go into the
5. Observing the same child if three or more other students/teams have
already done so (i.e., the child of an...