Keywords: child observation analysis
Observation of small children permits a naturalistic perception into child development, which more experimental methods neglect to provide. The technique of observation also means social workers can form skills that would usually be difficult to learn, such as observing without taking records - a practice that is applicable in a specialist sociable work role. Trowell and Kilometers (1996) emphasise the importance of observation as one of the foundational skills developed in communal work, relating to the interpersonal worker's role to make judgements, decisions and juggling the problems of competition, gender and sexuality whilst making important decisions regarding people's welfare.
The observation took place across 5 weeks involving 5 different observation consultations, allowing the kid to be observed across a number of different times during the day. The observation study was based upon the Tavistock method emphasising not taking notes, becoming completely absorbed into the observation and placing importance on the observer recognising their own reactions and responses to what behaviours and dynamics may be exhibited. The Tavistock model encourages observers to
"see what there is usually to be seen and not look for what they think should be there"
(p. 2, Reid 1999).
This promotes the observer's use of non-judgemental belief - rather than creating inferences about situations predicated on instinct without information.
Whilst the Tavistock model typically uses every week observation over the first year of a baby's beginning this observation was across 5 weeks. It would be hugely beneficial from a child development perspective to observe a newborn toddler for each year, however I could imagine the process to be very psychological. I found it difficult to complete my 'goodbyes' to the child I was watching, as I acquired turn into a relatively continuous fixture in the child's life. Also from the process of observation I sensed as if I had fashioned begun to 'know' the kid, as I acquired observed her intently and found upon habits, favourite activities and commenced to discover and understand her personality attributes. The age of the kid being witnessed was also completely different from the Tavistock model, however I feel that observing a kid at age between 3 and 5 was amazingly useful. Observation of newborn babies can inform sociable workers of connection development and the 1st milestones. However a mature child can begin to inform social staff of just how children connect to other people, develop speech and how children themselves relate with others and the wider ecological system (Bronfenbrenner 1990) which can help advise practice, especially direct use children.
The use of the Tavistock model also helped me understand the effectiveness of not taking notes, and I believe it is a skill I've developed and already apply whenever using children. Due to learning how to perceive what is going on around me and what's occurring for the kid I have been able to transfer this to hearing children talk about their house life (specifically in wants and thoughts work) whilst having the ability to take notice of the child's body language. I have made it a point never to take notes when talking to a child, in order that they feel I am totally centered on their account.
The observation took place in an early years course, in a Roman Catholic Institution in a deprived portion of Suffolk. The school's quest assertion is "to teach teenagers to meet up with the task of life courageously, to utilize their abilities to the full and live the principles of Christ's gospel" and there is an emphasis on a Catholic education, including religious iconography in all classrooms, regular prayers and a prayer garden in the school grounds. Children are also prompted to adopt their first holy communion and enroll in mass regularly. The school itself is recognized as 'good' by Ofsted, and whilst it's main student society is from the local area and would illustrate themselves as White English, there are always a small, but growing, inhabitants of cultural minorities. This consists of Philippines, Korean and Polish and because of the high occurrence of non-English speaking parents the school's website offers a translate service. The Ofsted report also discusses that the school has an increased than average quantity of pupils with special educational needs.
The area is predominately working category, with an increasing problem with unemployment and poverty. Whilst it is well evidenced that children growing up in deprived areas are definitely more vulnerable to health problems (McLeod and Shanahan 1993) and at greater threat of varying types of maltreatment (Aber, Bennet, Conley and Li 1997) the child for this analysis is developing within the considered 'normal' restrictions, is not known to public services, and is white British.
I thankfully already got links to the school due to recently concluding work experience- I got therefore already known by customers of staff, and acquired already gained their trust that I'd behave in a professional manner. I contacted the institution and the institution agreed to the observation review. I was then asked to come in and speak to a potential parent or guardian as she brought her child directly into school. The teacher acquired chosen this child as she acquired no developmental concerns, talking about her as 'average', the child, siblings and other family were also as yet not known to sociable services and come from a well balanced family. I contacted the mom as she got into school and discussed the job to her, she was interested and indicated no worries or issues with her child being the main topic of the kid observation. I got very amazed at the ease of permission, as there is a negative stereotype regarding cultural employees (Gibleman 2004), however when I spoke to the father or mother of the kid she said that she recognized that everyone needs to learn. This made me feel positive regarding the observation as I wasn't immediately challenged or questioned and the parent or guardian did not require any feedback on the child' development - that i was initially worried may be asked of me.
I completed the observations on the Tuesday at a variety of times. Due to starting at the end of Sept I began my observation at 9am as 'C' (as the observation subject matter shall henceforth be known) experienced only just begun school and was not yet attending regular. As time advanced I could complete observations through the afternoons. I find the observation to concentrate on as 'C' participated in a variety of activities that seemed to demonstrate numerous facets of child development, including imaginary play, shared play, scaffolding (Vygotsky 1978) and cognitive development (Piaget 1964). I select not to use the first observation I completed, as 'C' cried generally of the observation and was very unresponsive to any task the class teacher had set and refused to participate in any activities, instead she remained on the lap of an teaching helper. Whilst this alone obviously indicated a good deal regarding development of attachment this essay would then mostly be targeted of attachment rather than the other areas of child development. The observation I've focused on was the next observation I completed, which is therefore still relevantly soon after 'C' had started out school, I could therefore get started to make inferences related to 'C's' first connections with her peers and may observe these developed over the pursuing observations.
Analysis of Observation:
This observation was the next observation in the group of five. I decided to go with it when i felt the kid demonstrated a range of facets of development, including taking part in distributed play, imaginative play and I began to comprehend more about the child's individual personality.
Language and communication development begins very early on, with very young newborns using eyesight contact and changes in the infant's behavioural condition to be able to communicate their must adults. These reactions begin for being more technical and reciprocal between adult and caregiver and the child begins to learn noises ultimately developing dialect, an important tool in communicating to people (Sheridan, Sharma and Cockerill 2008).
The observation and institution day commenced with the children asked to practice phonic tones; in this observation the letter O. 'C' (the kid) used gestures as well as sounds to practice the letter, motivating 'C' to discover the audio and value of the characters, however by 4 years and 3 months 'C's dialect development was such that she could already construct sentences, engage with other children and instigate video games and jokes (Pecceci 2006) That is evidenced with 'C' requesting another child to experiment with the 'row your fishing boat' game. 'C' is demonstrating her grasp of complex syntax using comparative clauses (Clark 2003). Similar evidence of developed dialect acquisition is 'C's ability to ask grammatically accurate questions, for example when she called for milk 'C' showed that she experienced developed a knowledge of auxiliary verbs.
Social and emotional development:
Play is a central part of a child's cultural development including solitary play (mastery play, generative play), constructive play, locomotor and sociodramatic play.
'C' participated in a variety of play indicative of gender stereotypes - for example participating in 'brides' with a friend, pretending to be a kitten again with a friend, all examples of imaginative and co-operative play.
Piaget (1965) discusses the value of peer relationships to the child's moral thoughts, values and values. Inside the above cases 'C' is engaging in play where in fact the two children involved are expressing their passions and needs (i. e. curiosity about pets or animals and the desire to have a pet kitten) when the same interests do not are present, an 'disequillibrium' occurs (DeVries 1997) and reliant on the worthiness of the relationship, the child may try to re-establish equilibrium, which is why Piaget suggests peer friendships, and finally peer play is vital to a child's operational and co-operational development. 'C' participated in a game with three kids, which involved building a structure. 'C' got to work with her peers, this game was more organized and for that reason more implicit guidelines - which is how Piaget (1965) clarifies the introduction of childhood moral worth.
Alternatively Vygotsky (1978) presumed that the life long procedure for development would depend on social connections and this causes cognitive development, which is also known as the area of proximal development. 'C' worked with three other students to interact to develop using the solid wood planks, 'C' resolved the problem of where you can put the planks to build the most sound structure - separately problem solving.
There is also an emphasis on play leading to the introduction of an imagination. This can be evidenced in 'C' learning to be a kitten, and behaving as a kitten would- licking her hands as paws etc. Vygotsky (1966) argues that all play will involve the creation of imaginary situation, liberating the kid from practical situational constraints, in the end Vygotsky implies that child years play and the move to adult creativity are both rule bound, which first develops through imaginative play as observed in 'C'.
Emotional development, self-regulation and containment mainly derive from the quality of the child's early parts (Bowlby 1969). C's mother bought 'C' in to the class and 'C' appeared reluctant to leave her mom, but she was comforted by the professor and waved goodbye and did not look like distressed. This observation was completed at an early stage of the kid attending school full time, therefore a degree of separation nervousness could be likely. However 'C' was easily comforted by the tutor suggesting 'C' had developed a secure attachment to her mom but could leave her without being anxious. It has important implications for 'C's future adjustment at institution. Granot and Mayseless (2001) suggest that those children with secure accessories adjust to classes better than people that have disorganised, avoidant or ambivalent connection styles.
Intellectual and cognitive development:
Piaget (1957) theory of child cognitive development claims that the kid constructs and recognizes the planet around them by experiencing discrepancies from what they know and what they get started to discover. You will find four levels of development, which Piaget discusses - sensorimotor, pre-operational, concrete operational and formal operational. Due to 'C's era (4 years three months) Piaget (1957) would illustrate 'C' to be in the 'pre-operational' stage - emotionally representing things and engaging in symbolic play (seen throughout the observation).
The pre-operational stage also links back to you to Piaget and Inhelder's (1948) phases of pulling. 'C' demonstrated that she was in the later periods of the fabricated incapacity level of drawing - 'C' experienced drawn a circular, closed number with limbs but these were not compared, 'C' in addition has not grasped a sense of perspective and the individuals figure did not fit the backdrop feature - in 'C's case a bathtub. The man-made incapacity level of drawing runs parallel to the pre-operational level hence why the picture was also in 2D, as 'C' could only pull from her perspective - replicating a bathtub from her interior mental representation.
However Vygotsky' (1966) theory of cognitive development mixed from Piaget's (1957) and he positioned a greater importance on the ethnical and public environment of the child being a vital area of the structure of knowledge. Learning through connections with the peers, and the targets, beliefs and customs of their own ethnicities.
Vygotksy (1966) also positioned an importance of peer cooperation, as well as adult assistance to advertise the zone of proximal development, also called the scaffolding process (Wood, Bruner, and Ross 1976). Scaffolding is very much used a coaching strategy and is seen with 'C' and her classmates. The professor demonstrated the letter 'O' and asked the kids to copy both sound and activity, providing encouragement and praise when the duty was done well. In this situation the tutor also split the duty of recognising 'O' down - first trying to explain to the children, then asking the kids to sound the letter out, before pulling on the whiteboard and asking the kids to copy the writing action. 'C' was then asked to attract the notice on a piece of newspaper, using the approach previously utilized by the professor. 'C' did this task well, suggesting the success of the scaffolding technique.
In this observation 'C' also commenced to show the beginnings of the introduction of theory of mind. Perner, Lang and Kloo (1999) suggest an intellectual and developmental switch in a child of around 4 years of age, including the acquisition of theory of head and self-control. In such a observation 'C' and another child hid from a youngster, they hid behind the shed, and therefore developed the knowing that if they conceal from another that he'll not know where they are really. However Perner Lang, and Kloo (1999) also suggest a connection between acquisition of theory of head and self-control, however in the hide-and-seek game both young ladies called the child's name and giggled, recommending their professional control has not yet fully developed
Moral and religious development:
As previously explained the institution is a Roman Catholic university, and there is religious iconography in the class room, including an image of Mary and Jesus on the wall. The children are anticipated to pray 3 x per day as well as attend mass, collective worship and spiritual assemblies. There is also a greater emphasis on religious education starting from the early years category.
Whilst the child's family are not religious, it's important to consider the impact that such a spiritual education may have on the child's idea of self and their moral, religious and religious development. Eriksson (1964) drew focus on the value of religious beliefs and spirituality, emphasising that if efficiently 'settled' at an early on stage it can result in the virtue of trust, transferring over time to mature beliefs and the capability to believe without data that the universe is trusted (Roehlkepartain, Benson, King and Wagener 2006). Eriksson (1964) also asserted that religious beliefs could provide a transcendent worldview, moral beliefs and behavioural norms.
'C's religious development can be observed through her joining in the prayer at the end of the lessons time. 'C' recognized what to the prayer and positively demonstrated the actions that followed the prayer. Whilst I only witnessed 5 consultations, if following a true Tavistock method, there could be more proof how 'C' develops religiously, and whether joining a religious institution impacts her later outcomes in life as it has previously been recommended that religious academic institutions have better willpower, school harmony and less racial discrimination (Jeynes 2002).
'C's moral development was also demonstrated several times in this observation. On several events C helped out men and women, as well as hearing the educator and pursuing instructions when asked. C did not demonstrate any behaviour that might have been construed as 'mean' or 'selfish'. The actual fact that 'C' tidied up when asked indicate that 'C' has reached the pre-conventional level of moral development (Kohlberg 1971). 'C' is responsive to the guidelines of the classroom and aware of the consequence of not following instructions. It might also be argued that 'C's determination to help at milk time could be observed as evidence of Kohlberg's level 3 (1971), with 'C' beginning to take part in good behavior, to please and be approved by others. However Kohlberg's (1971) theory is considered to be gender biased with females typically credit scoring lower than guys, Gilligan (1982) argues that females and males have differences in moral development. Without doing further observations it isn't clear how 'C' may continue to develop morally and how she would respond to Kohlberg's moral questions.
Concept of self applied:
School is an incredibly important area for a kid producing it's own concept of self, for it is the very first time the child commences to identify itself with regards to lots of characteristics such as gender assignments and racial identification. 'C' is beginning to develop an interior model comprising of personality, self-esteem, steadiness and self-efficacy (Markus and Kitayama 1991).
'C' is marking the beginning of her concept of home, by already demonstrating tastes for the type of play, peer interactions and her passions. She showed a pastime in artistic activities - such as painting and pulling (also observed in future observations) and mainly doing offers with women, however she does also participate in a game of building with kids.
However many children in early childhood cannot point out their idea of 'self applied' instead finding the mind, home and free will as physical areas of the body (Damon and Hart 1982). This is situated with children thinking that animals, plants and some inanimate objects also own a brain, whilst this didn't appear in this observation; 'C' obviously demonstrated this opinion in a future observation thinking a tender toy had feelings and thoughts of it's own.
How the child experiences their world:
I felt that through the observation that 'C' got a positive experience. Whilst she was initially reluctant to leave her mom, as soon as the teacher had led her in to the classroom 'C' seemed to forget about her separation anxiety and immediately became involved with the class.
'C' seemed to do well at the educational activity, and when she was given free time to choose a task she participated in a number of activities - including using other children but also drawing on her own. She was very giggly made an appearance happy through the observation - playing around and participating in.
However as Piaget and VonЁche (1929) reveal the difficulties in using the observation method to understand how the kid experiences the setting and the culture within the institution, as 'C' does not spontaneously talk her thoughts and emotions about her experience, and rather it's the observer who makes these judgements.
Analysis of the observation as a string:
'C' was the age of 4 years and 3 months when completing the observation, she's therefore begun to manage the concept of terminology and was beginning to experiment with more technical syntax and asking more technical questions. As would be expected of a kid between the age range of 4-5 'C' was also developing her 'receptive' skills and proven a knowledge of spatial principles (McLaughlin 2006). For example the teacher asked 'C' to get the field of beads, which was behind the curtain and next to the renewable box of letter designs and 'C' was able to do that. She proven that she could follow step-by-step complex instructions as well as the spatial principles of 'in back of' and 'next to'.
However whilst 'C' is growing what would be considered 'normally' she also still has difficulty in pronouncing just a little longer words. For instance 'C' was playing a pretend game of 'hospitals' with one young child being unwell and 'C' participating in the nurse, however 'C' got issues in pronouncing the term 'hospital' and instead pronounced it 'hopital'. Children between the get older of 4 and 5 are still growing their linguistic skills and term distortions do take place, which is expected that with time 'C' with encouragement from parents and teachers can improve (Owens 2005).
'C's continued behavior continued to be much along the same level as the first observation and I had not been surprised at her infrequent mistakes, as she is not yet linguistically proficient and neither would she be likely to be at the age of 4.
Social and psychological development:
As already mentioned, the product quality and nature of 'C's early on social connections with her primary caregivers provides template for future sociable relationships and is also integral with their general communal and mental development (Fabes, Gaertner and Popp 2006).
During this observation and the other observations 'C' seemed to employ a good temperament, disregarding the first observation 'C' remained friendly and happy to be getting together with other children. During the 4th observation 'C' was discovered to share her own private toy she possessed bought in for show and inform because another child got ignored theirs, thus suggesting 'C' is now socially competent and the beginnings of empathy.
Sanson and Hemphill (2004) claim that temperament has the potential to influence several behaviours including how children connect to peers and individuals. This in turn suggests that 'C' is able to self-regulate her own thoughts. As Eisenberg Cumberland, Spinrad, Fabes, Shepard, Reiser (2001) suggests, those children who are able to self-regulate are more likely to look for peer relationships and they are recognised as more socially experienced. This is evidenced in 'C's interactions with the other children in the school. 'C' was witnessed to talk about her playthings without pressure from individuals, and she shown an introduction of the knowledge of others desires and values.
Fabes, Gaertner and Popp (2006) also claim that the development of social competence in college years children can be evidenced through the reciprocal relationships between peers, with positive relationships and the maintenance of interpersonal contact. Again through the observations I did so not observe a negative connections between 'C' and another child.
However I had been only in the school room for one hour a week, it's very likely that 'C' had not completely developed socially, and will probably experienced negative encounters with some of her classmates. There may also have been the added effect of investigator bias, with the children realising that we was observing and therefore modifying their behavior.
Intellectual and cognitive development:
Three of my observations were completed first time of the day and included the routine of the register and phonics and understanding how to link the characters with the noises of the notice and adding an action to help the kids signify this - therefore using all areas of learning (visual, auditory and kinetic). During one of my observations I came after lunchtime and prior to the children were again permitted to choose an activity. The class teacher had planned a numeracy session, with the kids resting on the carpet. The educator would use an abacus and ask the children to count number the beads along with her. I discovered 'C' and she participated in the duty, and could count up the beads. The educator then moved three beads across and asked 'C' just how many beads were still left to which she could react '7'.
This is concurrent with Piaget's (1980) pre-operational level described previously. This is also advised by Gelman and Gellistel (1978) who determined two types of numerical knowledge. The first being numerical reasoning and the second being numerical abstraction. Numerical abstraction ability is the process by which the child can abstract and symbolize numerical value. I observed 'C' accomplishing this when she was asked to go two beads on the abacus and work out just how many were still left, again an activity she was able to complete, indicating the development of counting rules and basic numerical ability.
As 'C' is at the very first stages of her institution life, there is very much an focus on play alternatively than academic activities, as this starts to be unveiled later in the school year, therefore much of the data of 'C's intellectual and cognitive development arose from the occasional set ups activities and her connections with peers and people.
Moral and religious development:
Piaget (1965) advised that moral development was a gradual process, working parallel to the levels of intelligence with each stage characterized by another type of process (i. e. the pre-operational stage already reviewed). He suggested that children proceed through a 'heteronomous' stage guided by societies guidelines and limitations - which is often seen as quite definitely enforced by institution. As the kid matures this becomes more 'autonomous' as these rules and values become an ingrained part of the child.
'C' is learning the guidelines of the classroom, and these eventually become fairly implicit (though occasionally children need reminding of the basics). Often I observed the class tutor telling the kids to take a seat still, be calm and to raise their hand when responding to a question. Considering the age of 'C' she didn't break guidelines frequently. Sometimes I detected the professor warn 'C' if she was giggling and talking to a child sat next to her (not different behaviour for a 4-5 yr old child) and 'C' would stop the behavior. There were children in the class who did not respond to verbal warnings plus they were either asked to take a seat on their own in a place, or as a far more severe punishment sent to another school. 'C' was therefore in a position to see the results of other children's behaviour and realise that could be applied to herself if she didn't follow the 'guidelines'. Bandura and McDonald (1963) also evidenced the effect of social reinforcement after a child's moral development. They found children's moral judgements could be altered using reinforcements and communal modelling, quite similar as teachers use during lesson time.
Concept of self:
'C' continued to display a marked preference for playing with children of the same sex. Whilst she would occasionally join in with 'boy' games - such as using cars and construction games she demonstrated an overall inclination for participating in dress-up (she participated in a dress up game in two other observations, including dressing in an apron and participating in out a cooking scene) and taking a pastime in pets- indicated through enactment, picking a story about a tiger and through pulling (I seen 'C' drawing a picture of herself walking 3 canines. )
As I found out when watching 'C', with the exception of her dad, she originates from a predominately feminine family. She's two elderly sisters who've also previously been at the institution who are twins. Because of the predominately female environment that 'C' has grown up in, it can be her preferences for gendered stereotyped activities may be discovered behaviour, with children often learning recognized sex jobs from parents and aged siblings (Fauls and Smith 1956).
Again it is difficult to go over 'C's idea of self, as it is largely based upon my observations. Whilst these observations were generally free of judgements it was problematic for me not to say how 'C' appears to be producing in her concept of self. She appears happy and content during her time at college (excluding the first observation) as she could be noiseless she had started to determine good human relationships with other children and were expanding healthy self-esteem and positive self-concept. I noticed this was credited to her close and supportive marriage with her mom and class educator - both of whom seemed to take an interest in her work, encouraging 'C' when she had done something well.
How the child experiences their world:
Only during the first observation do Personally i think that perhaps 'C' is probably not enjoying her college experience. Through the first observation, conducted in very early on September starting at 09:00 'C' was what could only be referred to as very distressed when her mum slipped her off each day. She clung to her mums skirt and was crying refusing to release. The teacher had taken her possessed and led her into the school room and then set up for her to be sat with a coaching assistant, who got the child on her lap. When 'C' was urged to stay with her classmates she refused and started to cry again.
This recommended that 'C' was showing separation stress and anxiety (Bowlby 1973). However as Bowlby (1973) discusses this effect will basically be anticipated to a new and strange setting up, considering it was one of 'C's first days and nights at university 'C' was finding herself surrounded my new people without the knowledge that her most important caregiver was there so she could explore while having a secure bottom part to which to come back.
However as I progressed through the observation series 'C' started to stay into her environment and the new regimen of college life. I noticed two more periods at the beginning of your day and 'C' little by little became less distressed, though she still said goodbye and provided her mother a cuddle, recommending a continuation of the secure connection.
Process of watching:
Experience of being an observer:
I initially noticed very anxious of the complete task, though I noticed this was typically down to the difficulties in securing not just a place to notice but also getting close to a mother or father of a kid who was going to be comfortable enough to allow a student cultural worker to see. It is widely known that many people, especially parents of small children, have developed judgements of cultural workers largely due to the portrayal in popular press (Gibelman 2004). Thankfully I have very good links to the school I chose to complete my observations in - having already completed work experience a couple of years ago, therefore there were no problems in acquiring a placement as they already recognized and had built up a level of trust.
The early years teacher launched me to a mother or father, and I was anticipating the mom to ask me a lot of questions about the observation, if they would be allowed a duplicate of my observations etcetera but the mother simply explained that it would be fine and this another of her children in the institution had been previously been involved in a study similar. I have to have accidentally expressed my delight at the ease of getting consent (I also thought that because of the age of the children many parents would be wary of the youngster being witnessed, with my preconceived ideas of parents with young children being very protective) as the mom also said that students should try to learn and this was an excellent way of learning child development.
The first observation I also found very difficult, it was one of the first full days the kid had been at university, she was also very hesitant to say goodbye to her mum and regularly cried for the hour of my observation. She refused to participate in any activities and instead thought we would sit next to me at one of the tables I had developed chosen in the class room (anticipated to it's central position for ease of observing). This naturally made things difficult and I was bothered that might end up being a routine, which whilst would advise about connection style perhaps would not have given me the scope of the entire selection of development I had fashioned likely to see. However my concerns were unfounded and the next observations I believed were very successful - I centered this on the child participating in a variety of activities and interacting with other children - presenting me information I possibly could bring parallels with from my very own experiences, position and information I had formed previously learnt.
One of the hardest things had not been getting started with with the other children. Because of a previous job (play worker) it looked like very unnatural for me personally not to make an effort to have interaction and help the kids if they asked me. I deliberately placed myself in a central position in the class - this is due to structure of the class (if I had been in a area if could have been difficult for me to totally see and also hear the child). However this performed indicate the other children experienced I was there to be engaged in the classroom and did occasionally require help from me or to show me work that they had completed. Nevertheless the teacher did clarify i was there to view and this have help.
What I learned from the knowledge:
The most unusual thing I sensed I got from the observation is the way i developed at having the ability to observe and recall specific details without taking records. I chosen that from the beginning I'd not take down notes as I noticed it could help me develop this skill quickly. Personally i think it has very real relevance to cultural work practice and I've already been using it in placement. Due to my positioning being on the obligation team I am often required to speak to children about their home life - and I make it a point not to take notes. I feel this may mean I can concentrate on what the kid says, but also in a position to watch their body gestures which can help create a bigger picture. The child also feels as though you are actually listening to them, which helps create a professional relationship. This has been evidenced in an instance I performed where I was able to detect the child performing very nervously (tugging at her sleeve, hand over her mouth area etc) when talking about particular associations. I think that the child observation certainly helped develop this skill.
I also experienced is was very good for have period to have the ability to concentrate on just the main one child and absorb myself into their world and almost experience their experiences at school on a regular basis. Whilst I initially found this aspect quite difficult- there were 29 other children in the course, playing around, having their own discussions and taking part in their own activities, by the finish I felt I could strip away (what I thought to be) a chaotic environment and fully concentrate of the child I was watching, allowing me to gain access to their internal and external world via a naturalistic method (Trowell and Miles (2004).
Relevance to interpersonal work practice:
As already reviewed there's a great deal to be learnt from having the ability to observe a child in an environment such as institution, not only in challenging my very own preconceived ideas of child development but also permitting me to make links between theory and practice. Naturalistic observation also allows communal workers to
"Floor their knowledge of children in immediate experience. Enabling a far more very sensitive and critically informed use of theoretical knowledge and procedures. " Le Riche and Tanner (1998) p. 10
It also evolves a focus on the child, which can aid social workers in growing child-focused communication skills including what activities children respond to and recognise child led communication techniques. McMahon and Farnfield (1994) also summarize how adding child observation to cultural work students can equip them with essential evaluation skills as well as growing reflective practice skills - essential in interpersonal work practice and extended professional development.
Understanding the amount of moral development in children has important implications for sociable work practice. During obtaining best evidence (ABE) interviews it is vital for the social worker to determine whether the child is aware the difference between the truth and a lie, and if the children are disclosing factual facts, whether they have been 'coached' by parents or whether their claims are fabricated. However if the child has not yet learnt the difference between a real truth and a rest it can be very difficult for social employees to judge the data as being factual or not, though if a kid has lied about abuse for example, then this must also be reviewed.
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