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“By observation, we mean to watch carefully, to listen and generally to monitor what the child is doing and to record your findings as accurately and objectively as possible.”
Confidentiality: all information obtained during the observation should be treated with the utmost confidence (rights of the child and his / her family). Therefore: Ask for and receive permission from the parent or workplace supervisor to conduct the observation. A signature is required at the end of the remark. Never record the name of the child or the name of the childcare unit.
Why Is Observation Important In Early Childhood
Use codes to name the child (TC = target child) or describe the childcare environment in general terms. You should not share this information outside of the work environment.
The Importance Of Observation In Early Childhood Education
Exact description: Record what is immediately observable, not our assumptions Example: TC seems to be very angry instead of TC is very angry.
Objectivity: The observer should not be influenced by the child’s previous knowledge, the child’s own emotional response or interpretive things in a biased (biased) way.
If a child asks you what you do, explain that you are watching him play, for example, you are very interested in what he is doing. Show what you write if the child shows interest. Stop watching and intervene if a child may have an accident, injury or bullying.
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Ethnic, linguistic and cultural background: Learn from the parents about the development of the child’s mother tongue, including whether a child is learning English as an additional language. It is also important to understand the child’s family culture, for example in some cultures showing respect for adults is important so that the child looks ‘retired’.
The observer records exactly what he is doing and tells the child while he is being watched for 10 minutes or less. Passwords are generally used to help everyone register faster. The most popular is a code system developed by Kathy Silva and her colleges (1980). Example: TC = Target child. C = Another child, A = Adult? = Talk to me, e.g. TCIA
The information file is limited to what is required by the checklist. Relevant information may not be recorded. Great emphasis on the “milestones” of development, however children follow a similar developmental pattern, but everything develops in its own unique way.
It is sometimes used when a child has difficulty interacting with other children. A series of brief observations (usually up to two minutes each) at regular intervals that must be decided in advance to ensure objectivity.
Celebrating Child Growth
A good overview of children’s activities and interactions. Be able to perform the observation in the normal daily routine.
Only provide information on one or two areas of development (social in any language). It may be difficult to stop what you are doing or the observer may forget to observe the required time.
Observing children is an important skill that you must learn and practice when you want to work with children. When assessing a child’s development we must keep in mind that every child is unique and that development is not directly related to age. To reach a conclusion about where children are in terms of holistic development should be a continuous process of regular and periodic observation of children in a wide variety of circumstances. Keep in mind that children have different learning styles, learning rates and preferences, so that assessment criteria can be met in different ways to suit the child. We must also take into account the national, linguistic and cultural background of the child and his or her parents and also whether the child has a disability or additional need.
Assessing young children is not an easy task, it requires dedication, perseverance and time. The observer should determine in advance what should be evaluated in relation to the child and then carefully plan what he should collect over time. In this way the observer can determine what the child is learning or experiencing.
Common Observation Strategies
However, regardless of which evaluation method is chosen, because each method has its strengths and advantages. It is therefore very important to use different ways of assessing children in order to achieve an accurate and reliable level of child development.2 Observation and assessment support children’s learning and lead to a meaningful curriculum. To have effective observation and evaluation you must first understand the typical development of children. As I learned in the last section on Child Development, children are constantly developing at their own pace. In this section we will build on this idea and learn how to celebrate children’s development through observation. Observation is a key step in the curriculum cycle
1. First, you need to understand the normal and formal development and growth of children. 2. Next, you need to watch carefully and attentively the children in your care / classroom to see where they are after development. 3. Based on this information, you can then design an appropriate developmental curriculum (a curriculum that is appropriate for each child’s specific abilities, interests and skills). 4. Observation is not the end goal but the beginning of creating a meaningful curriculum. It is the basis for making decisions about how to create the curriculum or change the environment, and even to learn how to interact effectively with each child. 5. As you observe, keep in mind the goals you set for the children in your care / class. 6. Careful observation can give you valuable insights into how individual children are doing. In this section we will explore these ideas further.
4 One of the most exciting parts of working with young children is watching them grow and develop. As we watch them grow and learn, it is important to recognize, support and celebrate their development. We do this by carefully observing and recognizing how children in our care / classroom develop at their own pace. Once we have identified where the children are in their development, it is our job to reflect on what we know and then design the environment and curriculum for further development and development (see Booklet 1). Observing and reflecting on individual growth and development allows us to celebrate every child. It is important to use the information gathered during individual developmental observations to prepare an appropriate curriculum, NOT to compare or identify children. As we learned in the last section, every developing child will usually eventually take on developmental tasks on their own schedule and we want to encourage and support them wherever they are. For example, one child may be nine months old and another 15 months old, but both children are usually considered to be developing. Or a five-year-old can read a text and another still read pictures to tell a story from a book. Consider the following key points of understanding and observing development:
• Children have individual temperaments, development, learning styles, experiences and family background. • Understanding development helps us enhance our interactions and our curriculum for young children. Scaffolding is a learning concept introduced by researcher Lev Vygotsky. It means that teachers provide children with adequate support when they learn a new skill. Through observation you can determine what a child can do independently, what he can do with help and what additional support he needs to take it to the next level of development.
Informal Observations: How They Help Teachers Grow In The Classroom
6 To fully understand where children are in their development, you need to observe them over time and observe them in different environments. • Teachers benefit from observation by knowing each child well, building respect and appreciation for each child and their unique developmental programs. • The DEL Early Learning and Development Guidelines can help you identify the development and typical needs of each child in your care / classroom. Use the Guidelines to help you create a meaningful curriculum, share development with the child’s parents, and update your understanding of individual developmental expectations. All of this helps maintain the smooth running of your classroom or care environment.
7 Because each child develops at a different pace, we as providers need to have realistic expectations for learning, behavior, and interactions. Realistic expectations allow us to challenge and challenge children who are ready in a developmental area and to meet challenges in areas where they are not ready. For example, a child who does not have the fine motor skills required to wear his or her own coat may need extra time to go outside while the teacher does this learning opportunity (take time to help start the button and release the child to finish). A child who is proficient in this skill may be called upon to help another child or to work on tying shoes. • We use the observation information we collect about children to assess their needs, evaluate the effectiveness of our program, and create an effective program. • According to the NAEYC Position Statement effectiveness indicators for the Preschool Curriculum, Program Evaluation and Evaluation, the information collected through observation and evaluation is used to understand and improve learning.
Assessment, Assessment and Evaluation of Preschool Programs (Assessment Module) Make an ethical, appropriate, valid and reliable assessment a key part
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