Human Growth and Development for Social Work
Topics: Jean Piaget, Developmental psychology, Child development, Theory of cognitive development, Social work / Pages: 13 (3108 words) / Published: Jun 17th, 2013

An understanding of the full depth and breadth of a child’s development is a prerequisite to effective work with children and youth, especially when the practitioner wants to concern himself with deviations from normal development’. (Maier, 1969)
For this assignment the method of observation used was naturalistic observation, which is a method of observation used by psychologists, ‘they observe people in their normal environment’s’(Boyd, 2007)
This type of observation is called naturalistic because behaviour is allowed to unfold naturally (without interference) in its natural environment - that is in the setting that it will normally occur. The major strengthen of naturalistic observation is that it allows researchers to study behaviour under conditions that are less artificial than in experiments. Another plus is that in engaging with naturalistic observation can represent a good starting point when little is known about the behaviour understudy. (Wayne, 2010)
This method is arguably most practical when little or nothing at all is known about the matter one is going to observe as there are merits (and demerits) to it. It helps the observer get a true glimpse of what is really happening in the life of the observed, in other words, helps to make sense of a child’s behavioural pattern. The disadvantage though, could be the time limitation. In clinical observation, one could observe for as long as one needs to but with naturalistic observation, in order to keep interference to a minimum, there will be limited time of observation and this may hinder the accuracy of getting the real feel of what is going on in the life of the observed. Another disadvantage to the naturalistic observation is the observer sometimes does not knowing what to record. A lot of times, bits of recording are missed because of the speed at which some of these actions take place, concentration loss by the observer and the distraction of other children who were engaging with the observer as they

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