Observational methods are commonly used to understand child development. To give you experience with this method, you will conduct 1 observation of a child between 0 and 13 years of age and write a 3-5 paper (it is ok if you go over 5 pages, but the paper must be at least 3 pages. Also note the observation notes do not count towards the 3-5 page requirement.). Find a setting in which you can unobtrusively observe this child. Your observation should last approximately 15 minutes. Possible settings for this observation include playgrounds, grocery stores, at home, or in a park. Please make sure social distancing guidelines are followed!
Observe the child for 15 minutes and take into account (by writing detailed field notes) their motor skills and activities, social interactions, language use and development, disciplinary episodes, play behaviors, affect/emotions, etc. Be sure to provide a description of the setting in which this observation took place as well as a description of who the child was with during the observation (e.g., caretaker, siblings, peers, etc.)
- The first page of your paper should consist of your naturalistic observation notes, where you describe what you observed during the 15-minute observation.
- Next, discuss the setting in which you observed, noting the approximate age of the child, the child’s gender, and the types of behaviors that you observed.
- Following this, choose three (3) behaviors that you find most interesting and use concepts and theories from the class to explain what you observed (e.g., Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial development, attachment theory, concepts in language development such as telegraphic speech, and more). For each behavior, describe the behavior you will be discussing, then describe the concept you will be using to explain the behavior. Be sure to state the importance of this concept or stage of human development.
- Finally, include a section on how you think the child’s culture influences one of the three behaviors you discussed. Culture is defined as the belief systems and value orientations that influence customs, norms, practices, and social institutions, including psychological processes (language, care taking practices, media, educational systems) and organizations (media, educational systems; (Fiske, Kitayama, Markus, & Nisbett, 1998).
- This assignment should be APA style.