The childs name is Muhammad Syakir Bin Mas Sulaiman born on 10 January 2007. He is a Malay and six years old. He is the only child of his family and I get to know him because he is my cousin. However, we rarely met as he lives far away from my place. Both his parents is an educator and live in a stable home environment. Stable here means they live in a proper bungalow house enable the child to have definite basic needs include shelter, food and safety. In the evening, he can freely play around the house compound as it is 24 hours secure by the closed-circuit television (CCTV) and surrounded by a gate. In addition, their neighbor’s child always come to play with Shakir. The family possesses a positive lifestyle that coexists together on a daily basis and the habits that these people have. The parents have a close relationship. Meanwhile, his father is always committed to the family, responsible and patient. During the weekend, when both parents free from work, they will take Shakir for a walk and provide him with a healthy lifestyle. As his father love to garden, he will also join his father by doing a simple task like repeal weed using hand-glove for protection. I had made an observation of the child at his home for about four hours and get to know how his kindergarten achievement is by referring to the parents and see his grade book. When I visit him in his house, he is playing with his cousins who just arrive from Kuala Lumpur two days ago. He wears a simple dress with shirt and trouser. He looks so happy playing around with his friends and I had taken this chance to observe how his interaction with his peers.
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range of physical skills. My first observation of his developmental information is the large motor skill growth. Santrock (2011) in his book proposes that, gross motor skills involve the large muscle group and whole body movement that enable activities such as walking, sitting, lifting and throwing a ball. At this age, he possesses the ability to walk down steps by alternating feet. Observation executed in the house compound shows that he can run with control over speed and direction. In one corner, I put a stone from one point to another about 5 meters, when he reaches the end point I ask him to hop on one foot. He manages to run over control of the length and find that he can hop on one foot without difficulty. He is so passionate when I ask him to play for observation purpose. As he always plays with his friends, he manages to throw, catches and kicks balls well. Same goes to riding, he owns a bicycle that enables him to ride and definitely able to do it. I find that six years old Shakir has a lot energy, he eager to do everything when it comes to play. In addition, he has the ability to do creative movement. He can make peace, heart shape and an OK sign by using his hand.
Shakir’s fine motor skill have developed sufficiently enough to complete writing, drawing and other tasks properly and efficiently. According to Santrock (2011), fine motor skills involve finely tuned movements which occur in body part such as fingers, and usually in coordination with the eyes. To observe his fine motor skill, further observation on her writing, reading, art , music and dramatic play skills is made in his house’s living room. He able to turn knobs, lids and egg beaters. I can see him open the door properly although he need to tote his feet because of the knob height. Besides that, he can fasten and unfastens his zippers and button by his own. With dexterity, he can also pick up, insert object and mold play dough. The best part is when I see him drawing. He has the capacity to draw , use writing tools and scissors with control. He can draw quite well and I am so impressed with his drawing. In addition, he can also stack a tower of block using his square wooden toy and able to grasp a crayon or pencil correctly.
His ability to grasp a pencil lead to a proper writing skill. From my observation, he can do most of the emergent writing and reading skills. He no longer pretends to read using pictures to tell a story. He already knows the alphabet and always include letter-like forms in writing. To observe all these abilities, stationary and books are required. Shakir loves pretending writing with pictures and scribbles. He is likely making a few shapes as so called human with arms and legs. His art and music ability is also good. According to his parent, Shakir prefer to draw most of his time. With this opportunity, I can perceive him drawing by creating basic scribble shapes, combines circles or square with crossed lines and combines object together in a picture. Apart from that, he can perform all music skills including playing instruments. He owns a small keyboard and with the keyboard he plays me a song but I do not really know what the song actually is. For dramatic play skills, I watch his video when he acts in his kindergarten competition. I notice that he manages to fulfill all the requirements for the skills. In the observation, I provide him with a toy hoe and act as a farmer. He manages to pretend become a farmer and assigned that role well.
From my observation of six years old Shakir, at this age, he able to commit most of the skills. It was so different at the time he is five years old. His coordination and motor skills become more refined, he has the ability to engage in games like kicking a ball, drawing and writing. But I expect there will be a wide range of physical abilities since kids’ motor skill are still developing at this age. Fine motor coordination will also continue to develop at this age. Six-years-olds will become more adept drawing and writing letters, and their pictures and stories will look much more recognizable and legible. They will also become more skilled at using tools such as scissors, and will be better able to perform tasks such as zippering or buttoning trousers.
Further observation on the subject is proceeded to see his cognitive development. From the observation, Shakir can sort objects by shapes and colors. He able to recognize different shapes and color and can tell either an object is white, black, blue or yellow. In addition, he can classify objects by size. In the experiment, I ask him to classify wooden block with three different sizes which are small, medium and big. He groups the wooden block accordingly to the same size. With the knowledge he had learnt in his kindergarten, he can count by rote to 20 as I ask him to enumerate the number of sheep in his exercise book. Apart from that, he has the ability to display 1 to 1 correspondence with numbers and can learn new words quickly. Instead of English and Malay language, he also learns Arabic and he manages to capture new word easily. As he can write and read, he is able to recognize letters and numbers properly.
At what stage of Piaget’s developmental stage does the child seem to be functioning preoperational stage? Justify your conclusion by giving examples of what you observed.
Shakir’s cognitive abilities are at the preoperational stage. Gordon and Bowne (2008) in their book pointed out that, during this stage, young children are able to think about things symbolically. Their language use becomes more mature. They also develop memory and imagination, which allows them to mimic the things they see. In a play, Shakir uses his imagination to be in a pretend-play with his friends. He has also used to imagine himself as a hero character such as ‘ultramen’ who defeat the monsters. Besides that, according to Piaget, children at this developmental stage display egocentrism. For example, Shakir will never let other to change the television program when his favorite series is in the channel. He tries to control the remote by all the time without letting others to take it. It is obviously exhibit egocentrism whereby he encounters inability to see a situation from another person’s point of view. In his thinking, if he loves the program, then everyone should love it too. Besides that, Shakir also exhibits animism. Piaget states that animism is when a person has belief that everything that exists has some kind of consciousness. As Shakir loves a cartoon character ‘Ben-10’ so much. He owns a doll that looks like it and he will never let other people to hit the doll as in his mind the doll will feel the pain if ‘Ben-10’ is beaten that way. Another aspect of pre-operational stage in a child is ‘Moral realism’. This is the belief that a child has own a sense of moral realism, the child’s way of thinking about the different between right and wrong. Shakir and I play a board game called “Snakes and ladders”. I try to make up a new rule to the game at which I use small Rubic with numbers instead of dice. He insists to use dice as he knows dice is commonly known to be the rules. It illuminates that children are concerned with outcomes rather than intentions.
Explain aspects of Vygotsky’s development theory that you were able to observe – such as interaction with family members.
Vygotsky has developed a social-cultural approach towards cognitive development. According to Santrock (2011), Vygotsky’s theory is a sociocultural cognitive theory that emphasizes how culture and social interaction guide cognitive development. Cognitive development of a child is cultivated by the interaction with people in his environment that has the capacity to educate or advance in their thinking like peers, parents and teachers. During my observation, I observe that Shakir’s parents teach him literacy and numeracy. This can regulate his cognitive development as well as the interaction with his parent. Furthermore, his parent constantly helps him learn how to read that can foster his advance reading skills and communicate to him that reading is an important activity in their culture. When he goes to his kindergarten, his teacher will later assist him in education and other skills that provide him with higher mental processes such as problem solving.
Social – Emotional Development
According to Bartlett and Burton (2012), Self-esteem is the way individuals think and feel about themselves and how well they do things that are important to them. In children, self-esteem is shaped by what they think and feel about themselves. Shakir can separate from primary caregiver without difficulty. When I request him to accompany me to the shop, he willing to follow me. He can also complete a task successfully. Apart from that, he always stands up for his own right and displays enthusiasm about doing things for self. For example, when I ask him if he is good at running and he will immediately exclaim ‘yes!’ as well as demonstrated his talent to me.
Bartlett and Burton (2012) state that, Emotional development in children refers to the attainment of emotional capabilities and their expansion as the child grows. It provides children the ability and skills that they need to function and survive in the society as well as the world. Shakir releases stressful feelings in an appropriate manner. When he rebels, he goes to one corner of the house and cried. He never commits a negative action such as throw the vase or his toy. His parent will take their role to persuade him and promise him to buy something he like. He also shows fondness, affections and love towards others. He loves cat so much. Whenever he sees a skinny cat at the house compound, he insists to provide its food as he feels pity with it. During my observation, he seems happy most of the time playing with his peers.
Shakir loves to participate in group play but sometimes, he also plays by himself with his own toys. Besides that, he can easily make friendships with other children and according to his parent, he gets friend with all his kindergarten peers. He gains access to ongoing play in a positive manner and resolves play conflicts in a positive manner too.
Lerner and Johns (2009) state that prosocial behavior occur when someone care about the welfare and rights of others, act to help another person and acting in the way that benefit other. I also find out that he shows concern for someone in distress. When he sees his mother massage her head, he will curiously ask “mom, do you have a headache”? He will be next to her and massage her head. In that way, he also seems to care for others in need. During a conflict, he manages to tell how other feel. For example, when he watches a television drama, he knows the actor is angry towards the actress. Besides that, he also shares and give something to another. He can take turns and complies with the request without fuss.
What did you observe in regards to Eric Erikson’s hierarchy of development?
A child of six years old is at Erickson’s fourth developmental stage which is industry versus inferiority. Children now learn to master intellectual and the more formal skills of life. For example, Shakir loves to repair his toy car. Whenever he successfully commits the task, he gets praise from his parent. As a result, he strives to master a new skill and develop a feeling of competence and belief in his skill.
Briefly discusses the emotional state of the child (emotional development)
Six years old Shakir express a wide range of emotions and are very situation-specific that can change as rapidly as he switches from one activity to another. He displays fondenss, affection, love towards other and sometime mad. He shows his temper tantrums through verbal rather than negative actions. For example, he plays with his peer happily until one scene whereby his friend snatches his ball and he feels so mad. He shows his anger by saying ‘do not take my ball’ while pointing his finger towards the ball. Apart from that, he also shows affection when he sees a skinny cat at his house compound and feel pity with it. Overall, I can rate his emotion as normal and he seems happy much of the time.
Attachment – Discuss what you observed in regard to the child’s state of attachment and temperament.
Temperament can affect attachment in either a positive and negative way, depending on the temperamental match between the child and adult. Attachment is a close emotional bond between two people. Meanwhile, temperament involves individual differences in behavioral styles, emotions and characteristic ways of responding. Shakir has a close attachment to his parent. He cuddles his mother firmly when he feels sleepy and kiss her cheek to show his affection to his mother. He is so attached to his mother from his behavior reflected. The way he treats her mother to show us that he has a good temperament. From my observation, the parenting style exhibit by Shakir’s parent is authoritative. Whenever Shakir commits a mistake, his parent will advise him and talk to him in democratic way rather than punishment.
Discuss the attachment level of the child to the primary caregiver.
I can rate Shakir’s attachment to his parent as excellent. He develops a definite secure with his parent. The quality of attachment between Shakir and his primary caregiver is observed based on the intimacy he exhibits with his caregiver that largely determined by the caregiver’s response to him when his attachment system is ‘activated’.
Did the child come easily to you? Did the child interact with you easily? Discuss
At first, when I ask him to commit some tasks for observation purpose, he reluctant to
do that as he wants to play soccer with his friends. After his parent persuade him and
promise to buy him some candies, he willing to do the task. The child interact easily
with me and answer most of my questions in appropriate manner.
Did you notice any difference between the way the child socializes and interacts with adults and the way he/she socializes with peers?
During my research, he plays an active role when socializing with his friends. He plays non-stop until he gets tired. Meanwhile, when socializing with an adult, he changes his attitude. He becomes more polite and sometimes seems shy to talk to them.
What appears to be the child’s attitude toward school and learning?
Shakir is so excited when it comes to study and always eager to learn new thing. When I ask him to write and read, he work on it enthusiastically. I see his kindergarten report book and he is doing well academically. His parent has tried their best to give her lots of positive reinforcement, and stay actively involved in his studies and kindergarten community. Hopefully, he manages to keep his great attitude about school in the years to come, and that he continues to enjoy his learning.
Ask the child to say something about his/her good friend? What makes a good friend?
He states that he own a best friend name Hakim. Hakim always accompanies him to eat at the kindergarten and share sweets. Both of them make a good friend as they have the same interest which are soccer and watch Ben-10, a heroic character that fight the alien.
He can listen but does not speak. When someone gives him advice, he can pay attention and understand the content of the talk. He can also give short phrase responses. He likes to take part in conversations. At the moment I talk to his parent, he also wants to engage in the conversation. He tries to say things that he knows and speaks in expanded sentences. He asks questions when he curious about something. For example, he asks “why you use marker pen to color the cat?” To express his needs, he uses language and speaks both to children and adults. He answers most of my query well.
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His language tells me that Shakir possesses a very good personality. When I talk to him, he never uses harsh words that seem rude and unacceptable. He will talk politely and barely see he speaks in high tone to adult. However, sometime whenever he does not agree with his parent, he shows his temper tantrum by talking back or defiance but he will never do that to a stranger. It maybe due to the egocentrism in the kid. While I was conducting the experiment, at first, he reluctant to do the checklist task, I try to persuade him a few times, but he persistently says ” Shakir wants to play ball with friends”. He respects me as an adult and does not rampage over the persuasion. In addition, He loves to tell the activities he did in his kindergarten.
His primary language is Malay and the language that I use to interact with him is also Malay. Malay is my mother tongue. So does Shakir. As we both use Malay as the language, it makes me easier to interact with him. I do not find it is difficult to communicate with him as he manage to understand each word I say. Human beings are born with an innate ability to learn language. We are preprogrammed to acquire any knowledge we are sufficiently exposed to before puberty. Thus, I feel comfortable to talk Malay to him rather than English. Besides that, Shakir is also exposed to other languages including English and Arabic. In his kindergarten, he gets a formal education of both languages that enhance his ability to speak in these languages. He uses Malay most of the time. Nevertheless, sometimes he uses English word to describe a thing. For example, ‘Shakir suka fish’. He does not “coo” and “babble” as he no longer a baby. However, he can speak single words, string a few words together and speak in complete sentences.
My overall impression about this child is very good. He seems to fully developed in many aspects although he is still six years old child. He gots most X in every section. He scores all X in prosocial behaviour, spoken language, arts and music skills and dramatic plays skill. He able to commit most of the task mainly in social play. He is so active at the time I observe him as there are a few kids join him playing the soccer. He loves to engage in group activities and seldom to see him play alone. Shakir develop as a healthy boy with impressing achievement.
The process of development mostly focuses on the change of biological, physical, cognitive and social-emotional that started from birth till the end of their life. In addition, developmental process is qualitative and cannot be measured, but it can be perceived through the emergence of the new characteristics. From my research, I find that all these changes happen are stable and it takes place gradually and systematically. The subject I observe is at preoperational stage. His behavior, emotion as well as cognitive development is accordance to Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. The process of changes in the subject will continuously occur through different stage of maturation that refers to the natural changes due to genetics and is influenced by the environment.
Santrock, J.W. (2011). Child development (Thirteenth edition). University of Texas. McGrawHill.
Bartlett, S. & Burton, D. (2012). Introduction to education studies (third edition). Great Britain. Sage.
Lerner, J.W & Johns, B.H (2009). Learning disabilities and related mild disabilities : Teaching strategies and new directions (12th edition). United States. Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Gordon, A.M & Browne, K.W (2008). Beginnings and beyond : Foundations in early childhood education (seventh edition). United States. Thomson Delmar Learning.
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