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Understanding Child Development through Observation

Info: 2607 words (10 pages) Essay
Published: 1st Jan 2015 in Young People

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Introduction: Background

For observing and evaluating the child development, an online site is accessed where a nursery video is available and in the video the child that I chose to observe is a four year old girl that I will refer to as Amani. She is highly intelligent and confident child; not only has this she had extraordinary skills to socially move around independently. I observe Amani in the school classroom; play area and garden area where she has been involved in different activity. This observation has been conducted between 9.23am until 11.09am of all her activities. The objective of this observation is to make the progressive note of the child’s physical, intellectual, emotional, linguistic and social development. In the next section there is description of observation and followed by the evaluation and child’s profile.

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Observation Description

Amani stands near to table on which there are name tags of students, she leans to pick her name’s tag with a little hesitance and picks the tag and pastes it on the name board. During the time she has smile on her face and looks pleased with this activity. Later on she is in her classroom sitting on floor along with her all classmates, she is smiling and has her eyes on her teacher, and paying attention to what teacher is saying intently. She is constantly smiling and moving her body in swinging way. Now, teacher is singing a poem ‘Mary’ and Amani is singing along with the teacher and continuously smiling with pleasure. Teacher is reading the students story about growing flower plants, teacher speaks of flower planting, that ‘there are some seeds and Maule! You will plant them and they will grow into a beautiful…flower’ Amani says ‘flower’ with the teacher. Teacher says ‘Maule! What do you think that seeds are going to need… soil… and… Amani cheerfully speaks water… water… making herself to be heard.

Teacher says that you can go and play and Amani raises her hand cheerfully turns back and forth to her classmates and she walks around touching the different objects, she is in painting area and takes out a color out of jar and write her name with write hand, she put down green color and picks another marker. She gets up and walks to garden yard, wears her apron ties the laces and ribbons. She is standing by a large soil pot from where other children are getting the soil; she has a soil pot and tries to get the soil from one of a child standing closely. Second boy standing next to her has two scoops she tries to snatch the one because other boy is not letting her have the soil scoop. She snatches a scoop off the boy and cheerfully put some soil into the pot and says ‘put some soil and it will make soil’ she picks a scoop and presses the soil inside the pot and says ‘I am gonna show my soil’ and sits next to her teacher, she tries to take wax dough and laughs when her teacher refuses to give her the wax dough, teacher parts the dough and gives her half of the dough she smells it pleasingly and kneads it with her hand. Teacher says to her ‘how does it feel?’ she says ‘good’. Teacher says ‘how does it feel like?’ she says ‘soft’ and cheerfully shifts the dough from hand to another. She says ‘where is the stick to put it?’ and leaned forward to get the one and crushes an object on the table, the teacher exclaimed ‘Oops!’ due sudden movement of Amani, she says she needs sticks and she hold the stick plate and put that near to her and picks the sticks one by one and put them in dough. Teacher says ‘you could sing a song?’ she says ‘yes’ and walks to the garden accompanied her teacher after finishing the wax dough, she puts the dough near to flower pots and waters the plants with the help of water shower. Now she is sitting in the garden party table and holding a spoon with plate and pretending to be eating with them. She gets up and leans forward to get another spoon and uses the spoon for picking ‘sugar’ from the pot and pours into a tea cup and picks another pot, a milk pot and pour it into tea cup to make tea. She again pretends to be eating and her teacher says ‘can you please make me a cup of tea, Maule!?’ she says with a smile ‘yes’, and puts sugar in the cup pleasingly, teacher says again ‘what are you putting?’ she says with a smile ‘I am putting sugar’, and pretends to add more sugar into cup with spoon. She is on the garden party table and eating with spoon and drinking and says ‘I have made it’ and get off the chair. Now she is in the class and standing next to her teacher who is sitting and singing a poem to children sitting on the floor. She sings the poem ‘Mary’ with her teacher and classmates.

According to Sheila Riddall-Leech (2005), observation is the most effective way to understand about the child’s development stages, and its aim is to gather observation base information about a child’s progress. Riddall-Leech (2005) further expresses that a single observation is not enough to determine whether or not a child is progressing and improving the developmental skills.

Any observation should provide the data necessary to enable a professional to make balanced and informed decisions, such as the planning of specific activities to meet children’s needs, or whether to seek professional help. According to O’Hagan (2001), it is vital that parents are involved in the child’s day to day activities in the school setting. In addition, the parents’ permission for observing child development is also important in the same regard.

Evaluation

Physical Development

In physical development, Amani is observed for Development of Gross Motor Skills as well as Development of Fine Manipulative Skills (DeRobertis, 2008). Physically Amani is observed and found to be healthy and normal child since she continues to show physical activeness and physical involvement in every activity that a child of four year old is supposed to do such as walking, running, bending, carrying objects, and rolling. During observation, she is found to be physically comfortable of her environment like roaming around without any physical unbalance. She has shown almost all characteristics of Development of Gross Motor Skills. However, she has good physical balance yet at one point she shows lack of balance and co-ordination and control of body like leaning against the table and crushing other objects on the table. Another level of physical development observed is Development of Fine Manipulative Skills (DeRobertis, 2008). Just like every normal child of four year old Amani is observed to able to using equipment, holding and gripping and drawing, writing and building. She is observed to feel, pouring, filling, touching and exploring dough and building another new object with it. She is observed to using objects like scoop and plant shower very efficiently and using spoon, dressing and using laces and ribbons.

Intellectual Development

Amani is intellectually observed remarkable as she shows intellect of mind and especially of knowledge and understanding. Both in classroom and play area she is observed as attentive, concentrated, understanding and learning child. The attention and concentration level is highly related to her responsive attitude. She shows some imagining and creativity too, working with wax dough and making cake and pudding of it. She is observed to have knowledge such as answering the teacher’s questions with her knowledge and writing her own name. The most important intellectuality observed in the Amani is her problem solving tendency such as wearing apron and tying the apron laces herself that shows her intense ability to show problem solving attitude. The sensing and concept formation of Amani is observed in play area where she makes pudding with wax dough, where she is asked about the wax and she responds correctly of the question that wax is soft and it shows great understanding and conceptualization of the girl. She seems to show good memory like sugar is added in tea and how to use the eating objects. Her understanding and recognition of objects and colors is extraordinary; she seems to differentiate between a light shade of green and vice versa. Since children learn language and other things by asking questions such as ‘what, where, why’, there has been lack of asking questions by Amani, and she intends to respond to the questions rather.

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Emotional Development

Emotionally Amani is observed to be independent as she is able to walk around freely without any hesitation. Moreover, there is no hesitation or difficulty in her expression. She is expressive and good at expressing herself. However, she shows little lack of control over her emotions like when she is in her play area to plant a seed in soil she snatched the scoop from her classmate who refuses to hand her that scoop, though there is not any intense situation yet she looks little out of control of her emotions. Besides, she shows a good emotional balance towards her classmates, she seems to show warm towards her classmate. Facial expression is observed as maturely because she intends to smile all the time whenever she is amused to show her pleasure. She continues to responds the teacher apparently pleasantly and in expressive way. She seems to show good interaction with others but little direct eye contact is observed. The overall body movement and body posture is simply frequently without any hesitancy and normally active and responsive. Tone of voice and play attitude is observed as interactive and sociable involvement. There is such as no sudden change in behavior or language tone.

Linguistic Development

Amani is observed to have language skills of the level of four year old child. She seems to express herself rather using language. In addition, she is observed to use short sentences and no difficulties and hesitation in speaking. Since language development of child depends on its cognitive skills and Amani’s cognitive skills is observed as functioning and efficient, her language fluency and efficiency is improved and better than other children in the classroom. The selection of words and fluency in the speaking is extraordinary good with correct use of tense.

Social Development

However, Amani is observed as an active, balanced and interactive child yet it has been observed that she has very little double-sided interaction with her classmates. She is observed to interact with her teacher but little is observed her interaction with her classmates. She seems to look warmly and positively but she does not show a productive and cooperative interaction; for example, at one point, she rather snatches the scoop from her classmate rather than making a polite request she seems to behave a little intense. Since, a child of 3 or 4 year is capable of waiting of his/her turn and in normal situation can share and cooperate with fellows (Kail, 2007) therefore it was a little surprising aspect of her because she seems to behave normally so far in other development. In addition, social roles and social behavior like learning appropriately and respond to other is observed normally. However, she seems to enjoy being in classroom with other classmates and enjoy the social appearance. In regard to other social skills like dressing and moving around without any help and doing different activities she is observed doing them independently. She seems to show a parallel social playing behavior like playing alongside but not with another child, not very much interacting and talking to other children in her different activities. She has been observed as cooperative and with high self-esteem- valuing herself as a person and confident. She rather seems to appear a self-reliance person in social development point of view.

Child Profile

I observed the child thoroughly and assessed her physically, intellectually, emotionally, linguistically, and socially. The overall development of Amani is observed to be normal and healthy. She has shown normal tendency in all level of development including physical, intellectual, emotional, linguistic and social. However, physical development means doing movement either gross or large movement of limbs or fine manipulative movement of fingers (Grych & Fincham, 2001). Amani is found to have large movement of her body and her finger by using pencils and writing. Because physical development mainly depends on the body growth and nervous system that sends message from the brain to body it demonstrates the muscles to motivate them to move. There is great relevance of physical development with intellectual development, because if a child physically not fit or shows problems like little movement, hesitation, and inactive, all these symptoms show inefficient intellectual development of child. Amani has been observed as physically active and responsive her intellectual and mental capacity can be assessed as normal and frequent. The intellectual development of Amani is found to be mentally active and interactive along with reasoning mind. She seems to understand the environment, the teachings taught in the classroom and questions asked; she seems to answer them intellectually. She is very attentive and concentrated girl along with ability to respond the external environment. She has good imagining, creative ability and problem solving attitude. Moreover, she possesses an ability to utilize conceptualization of her reality and creativity. Emotionally she is a well balanced child with independent attitude; she has got normal body posture, eye contact, language tone and unchanged behavior. Moreover, her body language and facial expressions are even and warm towards other mates. In linguistic development I observed that she has ability to use language to express her and there is fluency in the way of her language. Socially she is active, balanced and inter-active child, she is warmly and positive towards interacting towards her mates. She has good learning skills as a social roles and social behavior like learning in a group appropriately. She is socially independent and warm and communicative and responsive. She is expressive, social, cooperative and sharing the things. She has got remarkable cognitive skills and memory power. Different social activities like eating, moving in group and responding; these are those abilities which are extraordinary brought on in her. Common child features of asking questions about the things that they do not know or do not understand, in Amani’s case it are bit different in the way that she does not asking question but answering the question rather. Another thing that is important to conclude is her overpowering and strong and intense feeling about her movement. She is intelligent, cooperative, talkative, communicative, and furthermore, creative and imaginative with good self confidence. According to Gambrell (1994) the child who is motivated to learn has many reasons to read and it also includes knowledge gaining, on the other hand Amani is not observed for reading, which can prove her learning motivation. Nevertheless, she is motivated to learning and learning in group which is undermining part of her development.

 

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