1. The purpose of this assignment is to observe, analyze, and reflect upon the growth and development of a range of children. The main objective is to find connections between the topics discusse

1.     The purpose of this assignment is to observe, analyze, and reflect upon the growth and development of a range of children.  The main objective is to find connections between the topics discussed in class/in the text and what you see while observing the child.  Evidence and support from class discussions and the text should be evident. Observe a child aged 2.5-3 in this assignment 

2.     It is recommended that students choose 3 levels that are spaced apart.  For example, it would not be appropriate (or helpful) to observe a 5-year-old and a 6-year-old.  A good series of observations might look like this:  age 5, age 10, and age 16.  In this way, students will be able to see the full spectrum of child growth and development.

3.     Your task is to observe and analyze the child’s growth and development.  After observing the child in an educational or play setting, talk with the child and ask questions.  You will have him/her complete some developmental tasks like Piaget’s conservation or classification tasks and Kohlberg’s “Heinz Dilemma” (as appropriate).  Remember, you need to show evidence to support your statements (i.e. “Amy appears to be in Piaget’s preoperational stage of cognitive development.  This is evidenced by her response to the conservation task we did … she thought that the second container had more water”).

4.     Create a chart following the example on the next page.  The chart is single-spaced and the reflection is double-spaced.  The assignment must have 1” margins and use size 12 Times New Roman font. Include a title page.

5.     Follow the exact format on the next page.  Please print a copy of the rubric and staple it to the front of each observation before you turn it in to the instructor. These indicators will be on the rubric:

Exceeded- In addition to the “Met” performance, the student demonstrates in depth connections and/or provides multiple examples (e.g. other courses, research)

Met- Student demonstrates thorough understanding of identified criteria 

Developing- Student demonstrates partial understanding of the identified criteria (e.g. errors or omissions) 

Not Met- Student demonstrates no understanding of the identified criteria 

Growth and DevelopmentStudent Observation # __ (infant/toddler, early childhood, middle childhood, OR adolescence)Semester and year

                                                                       Your Name

Background Information about the Child:  Example:  8-year-old, female, Asian-American, observed during a lesson

Physical Development

Based on the physical characteristics for this age group, describe this child.  Does he/she seem to have normally developed fine and gross motor skills?  Does the child appear to be of average physical size for his/her age?    Give appropriate examplesof each type of motor development (e.g. look at a sample of the child’s handwriting for fine motor development). Refer to your textbook for appropriate skills, milestones, etc.

Cognitive Development

Using Piaget’s cognitive theory, describe this child’s level of cognitive development.  Is this child within the age-appropriate stage of cognitive development?  In which of Piaget’s stages is this child? Give appropriate examples to illustrate your points (e.g. child’s performance on a conservation task).  

Psychosocial Development

Describe the child’s interactions with others including adults and other children.  If this is a play situation, what type of play is the child engaged in (parallel, solitary, etc.)?  Describe this child’s temperament/personality.  You may ask the child to describe them self.  In which of Erikson’s stages is the child?  Give appropriate examples to illustrate your points.

Moral Development

Give examples of the child’s moral develop. Appropriate examples may include, response to Heinz dilemma, following rules, respecting authority, etc. Based on Kohlberg’s theory of moral development, in which stage is this child? 

Linguistic Development

Describe the child’s use of language (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) in this setting.  Does this child seem able to comprehend oral and/or written directions?  Does this child seem to have an appropriate oral vocabulary for his/her age?  How does he/she perform in reading and writing tasks?  Give appropriate examples to illustrate your points.

Reflection:  Write a two page minimum (double-spaced) reflection about your experience.  Each of the following questions must be answered in a separate paragraph with a topic sentence. Be sure to also include an opening and closing paragraph in your reflection.

  1. Describe an overall impression of this observation. This may be something surprising or interesting or a pattern of behavior you observe regarding this child’s development.
  2. Is this student at the appropriate developmental stages for his/her age group?  Why or why not?  In your opinion, does this child display any developmental difficulties?
  3. What tasks and/or assessment tools did you use to evaluate this child?
  4. How has this student observation shaped your thinking about this age group (whether you were planning to teach this age group or not)?
  5. What additional connections can you find between the text and what you observed with this child? (you must cite text)

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