Child Observation Assignment
You will observe children in a natural setting for 1 hour. This means that you may not be able to focus on one child exclusively. For example, you might observe children at a park, school, shopping center, amusement park, etc.
While you are observing make detailed notes of the following:
1. Age range of children
2. Number of children present. Number of adults present?
3. What behaviors are children engaging in?
4. How do the children interact with one another?
5. How do the children interact with an adult who is present?
6. Are the children engaging in age‐appropriate activities?
7. Comment on the attention span of the children.
8. Are there any gender differences in any of the behaviors you observe?
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This is going to be an assignment that you are going to have to undertake on your own. However, one of the beautiful elements about an assignment like this one is that it will completely require you to immerse yourself in a setting where you can observe real aspects of life and of being in the world. I think that the basis of the assignment puts you in some varied situations.
As you write this, I think that you can keep some elements in mind to make this paper a great one. Paying attention to sensory details is going to be essential for you. Noting the surroundings around the children as well as how they are acting will enhance your work. For example, if you go and observe children in a fast food restaurant, note what they are eating, how they go about eating, and their interactions with others in the process. Do they eat quickly, with focus and determination, or are they engaging in more of an experience, where interacting with others is almost as important as the food, itself? Being able to capture the sensory details will enhance the quality of your observational work. These moments will help to illuminate the behaviors the children display in a vivid manner.
I think that it might also help your endeavor to focus on specific events or stories that you see unfold in front of you. As an observer, it is important to capture these small moments as part of your writing. If there is some type of discussion or even conflict, trying to capture each and every part of it as part of your observation will enhance the nature of your work. In noting specific events, your detailed analysis will take a look and feel that will enable the reader to possess greater insight into what you are observing.
Writing this might seem like a daunting task, but I think that being able to go into the world and find a location where children behaviors are evident and on display gives a rich field from which to draw. Being able to do this will help further perceptions of the varied nature of child behavior. I think that being able to note specific sensory details and narratives that emerge from the observation can move this work into something very insightful and meaningful in terms of better understanding child development.
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