Child Observation Report

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Recently, I went to The Happy School, a preschool in my hometown of Smallville, California, to pass the morning with the students there. In the time I spent there, the children, ages 3 to 5, engaged in unstructured play, and sat in a circle for calendar time and reading aloud. The preschool is primarily child-centered in terms of its organization, meaning it incorporates a lot of child directed activity, and less structured, or adult directed, learning (Berk, 2008). I watched the group of about twenty children with the intention of studying them as a whole, but I found myself compelled to watch two children in particular, Addison and Jack, because they displayed particularly intriguing behavior. (p187) THESIS, what behavior, theories etc. In one instance, the children all gathered together on the colored carpet for story time. Mrs. Hunt, the teacher, read the group a story about an ally cat who stole from garbage cans. Throughout the story, Mrs. Hunt promoted the children’s active participation by stopping periodically to ask questions like, “Who can tell me what a thief is?” and “Can anyone think of a word that rhymes with cat?” At this time I noticed a girl named Addison, a particularly energetic and gregarious five-year-old. When the teacher asked group questions, she responded especially loudly. While the story was being read, she had trouble sitting still and had to be reminded multiple times to sit on her bottom, not her knees, and to raise a quiet hand and use her inside voice when she had an answer. “Inside voice, quiet hand,” Addison mumbled to herself after hearing the instructions. At one point, Addison, still bouncing on her knees, leaned forward and tugged on Lizzy’s ponytail to get her attention. Liz... ... middle of paper ... ...simply a reflection of his temperament. However, it’s clear from his growth since entering the Garden School that his development progressed toward Erikson’s positive outcome of early childhood: initiative. This advancement toward initiative has manifested itself in Jack’s progress from parallel to associative play (Smith, Cowie, & Blades, 1998), which he demonstrated while playing with the Legos. His progress towards independence and courage was most likely aided by the same warm, child-centered environment and scaffolding (of particular importance to Vygotsky’s social learning theory) (Berk 2008) that benefitted Addison. Works Cited Berk, L. E. (2008). Exploring lifespan development. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc. Smith, P. K., Cowie, H., & Blades, M. (1998). Understanding children’s development, third edition. Malden: Blackwell Publishers Inc.

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