This assignment affords you the opportunity to observe an infant/child in his or her naturalistic setting, apply relevant theoretical concepts learned in class, and critique the theory or theories from which you obtained concepts.
Choose an infant/child who is accessible to you. However, do not use your own infant/child or sibling because it is too difficult to be objective when observing immediate family members. Extended family members, for example cousins, are acceptable.
Due to pandemic restrictions, you may observe the child via Zoom, Face Time, or other remote video options. PLEASE WEAR MASK AND OBSERVE SOCIAL DISTANCING AT ALL TIMES IF THE CHILD IS NOT WITHIN YOUR HOUSEHOLD and you are observing him or her in person.
Before beginning your observations, read the information in the text chapters as well as the readings that apply to the age group to which the infant/child belongs. Additionally, make sure to read about biological, spiritual, and diversity issues as well as issues related to families, groups, and communities that may apply to the infant/child. This will help you identify the child’s physical changes, his/her social behaviors, and cognitive and psychological functioning.
Collecting your data
Gain permission from adult(s) responsible for the infant/child. Inform them that your observation is for a class project and not an evaluation, but rather an observation to help you correlate the relationship between theoretical knowledge and actual child development. Please emphasize that this is not an evaluation of the infant/child and that the name of the infant/child will not be in your paper.
Methods to gather information:
Naturalistic observation: There should be two separate 30-minute observation periods. Try to be as unobtrusive as possible. During an observation, you are not there to play or interact with the infant/child – only observe. Write down what the infant/child does, and others do with the infant/child. Focus on behavior rather than interpretation.
Informal interaction: After one of the observations, spend a brief period interacting with the infant/child. Your goal is to discover the infant/child personality and language abilities. You may also interact with adult(s) responsible for the infant/child at this time.
Writing Your Paper
After you have finished collecting your data, write a 7-8-page paper including the following:
Identifying Information: (Replace name with a pseudonym before submitting to instructor), age, sex, race/ethnic group, socioeconomic status of the family, religion, and relationship of the infant/child to student.
Include a physical description of the infant/child.
Current household and housing situation of the infant/child
Identify social systems in which the child lives and how these systems promote or deter her/him in maintaining or achieving well-being
Does the infant/child have any history of physical or mental challenges, hospitalizations or serious illness/injuries?
The assignment is not intended to be a chronological description of your observations. Summarize and make inferences (hypotheses).
Use examples of behavior to support your perceptions and hypotheses.
Describe the biological, psychological, and social development of the child citing examples from your observations or interactions. The reader should be able to visualize the person physically, as well as behaviorally, by some of his/her behaviors and communication with others.
Apply relevant theoretical concepts in your description of the behavior of the infant/child.
Critique the theory or theories from which you used concepts in terms of biases and cultural limitations
Conclude by providing a brief summary about the experience and your own reflections about this assignment.
Grades will be based on appropriate application of theoretical concepts, quality of expression, and adherence to the outline provided. This assignment is to be typed, MS Word, double spaced, 1” margins, font Times New Roman, size 12. You must add a cover page not counted as one of the pages to this assignment including your name, date and the course. Additionally, submit the raw data to the final report. (These are the original notes you took during the interview and observations.). Upload finished paper to BlackBoard. Notes should be scanned and uploaded.
Note: Use APA style (7th edition) for all references including the reference page at the end of the paper. Reference page does not count toward the page limit. Any assertion or claim must have a citation, e.g., saying the child is behind a typical milestone, or applying a specific theory. Correct grammar and spelling is expected.
We use theories from Erickson and Piaget mainly in our text.
Day Care Observation Video #1
Day Care Observation Video #2
Day Care Observation Video #3