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Chapter 4 How to Observe Children. What Is Observation? Clues to the development and personality of each child To “read” the child To “see” a situation.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 4 How to Observe Children. What Is Observation? Clues to the development and personality of each child To “read” the child To “see” a situation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 4 How to Observe Children

2 What Is Observation? Clues to the development and personality of each child To “read” the child To “see” a situation To develop a child sense Important role in assessment

3 Why Observe? Improve your teaching –Become more objective and less biased, and use less inference Construct theory –Link research to practice Use as an assessment tool –Develop specific goals and objectives for planning and development Assist families –Share meaningful examples of abilities

4 Why Observe? (cont.) Wonder why and solve a problem –A time of reflections –Developing hunches and intuition –Rethinking the problem

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6 Contexts for Understanding Observations Children as individuals –Tailoring what a child is ready and willing to learn –Report what a child does (not feels) and interpretations Children in general –Look at developmental norms –Children’s play patterns evolve –Understanding group and individual behavior

7 Influences on Behavior Environmental influences are classroom arrangement, daily schedule, and the activities themselves Transitions and time of day impact behavior Relationships between children and adults

8 Understanding Self Notice human behavior more accurately One teaches children and learns from them Capturing the unique personality, culture, and qualities develops self- awareness

9 Key Elements of Observation Systematic observations aid in recording events and help teachers make sense of them Must develop a “language of recording” to practice Elements of observation –Focus on what you want to know –Develop a system –Find a tool or instrument –Select the environment

10 Types of Observation Narratives –Record nearly everything that happens –Baby biography, diary, journal, or log –Modified running record or specimen description (one thing at a time) –Advantages: rich information, detailed behavioral accounts, take notes at any time –Disadvantages: time consuming, tendency for judgment or inference

11 Observation Strategies— Anecdotal Record Detailed record of specific episode of particular interest or concern A short descriptive story about a child’s specific behavior event that is of particular interest or concern. –This may be firsthand information as observed by child care providers or recorded from secondhand information as provided by parents. –It is qualitative, not quantitative data.

12 Observation Strategies— Running Account Specific type of behavior noted each time it occurs to provide ongoing description of behavior

13 Samplings Time sampling –What happens at a given time –Less descriptive –Recorded at regular intervals –Can use a checklist –Advantage: focus on specific behaviors –Disadvantage: difficult to get the whole picture Event sampling –Defines an event and devises a system to encode immediately –Looks at specific behaviors using checklists a number of times during a day –Advantage: clearly defined with a recording sheet –Disadvantage: lack of detail from a narrative

14 Observation Strategies— Time Sampling Identifies behaviors Determines patterns of occurrence and general frequency of behaviors

15 Observation Strategies— Event Sampling Determines pattern of occurrence and precise number of times predetermined behavior occurs within set period of time

16 Rating Methods Checklists with predetermined data are simple to make and record but lack rich detail Rating scales are checklists planned in advance that measure quantity and quality

17 How to Observe and Record Effectively Observing while teaching –Gather and prepare materials –Consider where you will observe –Plan when it will take place, and arrange help if needed –Prepare every adult to be an observer and reflect on children’s play

18 How to Observe and Record Effectively (cont.) Beginning to observe –Plan and establish a time and place –Be unobtrusive –Observe and record –Interpret your data –Act on what you observed

19 Observation Sequence Determining learning and developmental goals Watching and recording behavior Inferring meaning from behavior Evaluating progress toward learning and developmental goals Planning changes to enable achievement of desired goals

20 Observation Qualitative information- Unmeasurable descriptive qualities and characteristics of behaviors. Quantitative information- Measurable numerical data and statistical calculations that tell how often or to what degree behaviors occur

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22 Inferring Meaning Act of drawing conclusions from evidence perceived by one’s senses or through communication

23 Biases Biases are one’s own set of beliefs, values, perceptions, and assumptions Biases develop from one’s upbringing, past experience, and personal philosophy of life All we perceive with our senses is filtered through layers of our personal point of view (bias)

24 Perceive Become aware of subtle impressions about the physical world by focusing on the senses to notice and understand Make the effort to separate facts from opinions to increase objectivity We see children differently because we are different


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