“Education of the mind without education of the heart is not education at all.” Aristotle
Goal - Observing Children
The goal of observation is to enhance your understanding of the major concepts and milestones of development through observation of real children rather than just reading or hearing about how children grow and develop. Child development refers to the kinds of changes that occur from conception through late adolescence. Physical (fine and gross/large motor), cognitive, emotional, social, self-help, and aesthetic development will be explored through these observations, providing a brief account of development as it occurs. In addition, using well-written anecdotal records teachers are better able to track a child’s interests, how a child is getting along, learning, and progressing in a program, become the basis for planning developmentally appropriate curriculum to help the child build skills, and have documentation to support classroom assessments. Observations, recorded over time, and representative of all domains of development can present a comprehensive picture of a child’s development .
Child Development/Developmental Domains:
Child development focuses on the processes of change and stability in children from conception through late adolescence. Developmental scientists study both quantitative change and qualitative change in children. Quantitative change is a change in number or amount, such as in height, weight, size of vocabulary, or frequency of communication and is continuous throughout childhood. Qualitative change is a change in kind, structure, or organization and is discontinuous. It is marked by the emergence of new phenomena that cannot be anticipated easily on the basis of earlier functioning. One example is the change from a nonverbal child to one who understands words and can use them to communicate. The processes of change and stability that developmental scientists study occur in domains. For purposes of study, developmental scientists separate the domains into different aspects of the self including physical (small and large muscles), cognitive, emotional, and personalsocial. All domains are interrelated. Physical Development: growth of the body and brain, the development of sensory capacities and motor skills including health. Cognitive Development: change and stability in mental abilities, such as learning, memory, language, thinking, moral reasoning, and creativity. Emotional Development: change and stability in the development of a full range of emotional responses to events and interactions from sad to happy to angry, and learning to deal with them appropriately. Social Development: growth in one’s ability to interact and communicate with others in meaningful ways. 101 anecdotal assignment 09/29/2010 1
Piaget’s Concrete Pre-operational Stage (2-7 years of age) The preschool-aged children that you will be observing have entered into Piaget’s preoperational stage of cognitive development. The key feature of children’s thinking in this stage is symbolic representation. The child is now able to use a symbol, an object, or a word to stand for something else. The use of symbols can be clearly seen in the child’s use of language; for example, the child can now represent objects in the environment with the appropriate word and can refer to past and future events. The use of symbols is also apparent in children’s drawings, imitation, mental imagery, and symbolic play. For example, a preoperational child might be observed feeding her doll imaginary cereal or drawing a picture of the balloons at her last birthday party. Thinking in terms of symbols does permit more flexibility and planning in their problem solving. Despite these increases in cognitive skills, the thought processes of preoperational children result in characteristic differences in reasoning. Because they do not use logical operations, their reasoning often seems flawed to...