Overview of Observations in Child Development

Overview of Observations in Child Development

Overview of Observations:
To observe is to take note of the progress of a child and to give sufficient help where needed.
We observe children to:
Understand the pattern of development.

Gather information to make assessments about a child’s progress in relation to developmental norms

Identify any particular difficulties a child may have.

Meet the specific needs of individuals or groups of children.

Establish an understanding of children as individuals.

Where and when do we observe:

Type of Observation
Written record
Involves – description of an event unfolding in front of you written in present tense. Can be used to record a naturally occurring event or specific task
Using a skill which you practise every day that is familure to other people
Only a note book, watch and pen/pencil required
It can be carried out when convenient with little preparation and no formal planning
You may not be able to convey everything as the events are happening quickly
Inexperienced observers may record something not relevant
The piece may be repitious and boring
It may produce a large amount of information
Time and event sampling

Involves –
Time sampling: sample of time you watch the child

Event sampling: used to record events for as long a period of time at least a week
Collection of precise data
More closely focused
When completed data is readily accessible
Easily understood by professional and parents
Professional appearance and format
Can reveal unsuspected patterns of behaviour

Allocated time to do it
Expected behaviour may not appear during the time being observed
Remembering the time when doing time sampling
Keeping one child in sight at all times, without making it obvious
After the first session the child might be absent for sometime
Check list

Involves – developmental guides often used to assess a child on...

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