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Child Development Observation/Interview

For this project you will be conducting an observation and interview with a child between the ages of 3 and 10. In preparation for this you need to start thinking about who you will want to observe/interview and make contact with their parent or caregiver to gain permission and schedule at least 2 to 3 hours for the observation/interview.

Part I – Observation

Recommendations – Prior to the interview/observation thoroughly read the sections in the text and other resources that relate to the age range of the child you are observing.

Observe for a minimum of 1 hour how the child interacts with others, how they play, any social, cognitive, emotional/psychological, sensory/perceptual, moral, physical, and/or motor characteristics or qualities. Take detailed notes of his or her behavior so you can analyze the behaviors and functioning in terms of developmental stages and theories related to these areas. With permission from the caregiver you could also video tape the child playing so that you can later analyze it.

Part II – Interview of the Primary Caretaker

After observing the child, you will interview the parent or guardian about how this particular child functions. You should design a questionnaire that will help you to better understand your earlier observations of the child. You will also want to ask questions that will help you further understand the child’s social, cognitive, emotional/ psychological, sensory/perceptual, moral, physical, and/or motor functioning.

Examples of questions:

1) Tell me about your child’s (ex: physical, social, emotional) development.

2) What incidents come to mind?

3) How has it changed from a year ago or six months ago?

4) What have you noticed about her/his (ex: physical) abilities that you think may be unique to your child?

Part III – Interview of the Child

The final step in the observation/interview is to interview the child as long as they are old enough to answer your set of questions. You should prepare ahead of time a list of questions to help you further determine his or her social, cognitive, emotional/psychological, sensory/perceptual, moral, physical, and/or motor functioning.

You should also come prepared with a series of tasks in the form of games, puzzles, physical activities, etc. to further determine the stage of his or her social, cognitive, emotional/psychological, sensory/perceptual, moral, physical, and/or motor achievement.

Part IV – Write your paper

As you prepare to write your paper try to identify this child’s functioning as it compares to normative information found in the text (e.g., Piaget’s stages of cognitive development, standard physical characteristics such as height and weight categories, Brown’s stages of language development, Kohlberg’s moral development stages, etc.) and/or your other readings (be sure to include appropriate citations).

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