5-page MAX, typed, double-spaced paper, 1 in. margins.
The observation paper is based on at least one hour of thoughtful observation of an infant
/toddler two years of age or younger.
1)Choose an infant
2)Once you are in the setting with the infant
, just observe. Don't interact with the infant
directly; but of course, smile pleasantly and say ?hi? if the baby
approaches you, but do not try to intervene or "run an experiment" with the baby
3)Make a detailed, record of the infant
's behavior in two domains of development (e.g., language, social, emotional, motor, cognitive, perceptual). Be certain that you understand what is meant by the domains that you choose (e.g., know what constitutes cognition, language, etc.). As you watch, you will need to take notes on the behaviors relevant to your domains. Write down specific examples of what the baby
is doing, saying, by him/herself and with others. Pay attention to what is going on around the baby
and write down what others are doing to/with the baby
and how the baby
reacts. Do not interpret what you see while you are taking the notes; try to stay objective.
4)possible observable behaviors that are relevant to particular domains:
Emotional -- Which emotions do you see the baby
express? Which behaviors and expressions inform your decision about the emotions being expressed? Are these emotions simple, complex, positive, or negative? Are there signs that the baby
/toddler is regulating his/her emotions? (1) Stranger wariness: Observe baby?s reaction to the approach of a stranger (is the baby
wary? interested?). Note contextual factors too (is the baby
tired? With mother or a familiar person present? Did the stranger approach quickly?) (2) Temperament ? how does the baby
react to various situations? Is the baby
easy and adaptive, fussy and difficult, or slow to warm up to new or altered situations? How intense are the baby?s reactions? Is the baby
in a pleasant or unpleasant mood? How do you know? How distractible is the baby
? How high is the baby?s activity level?
Social ? How does the baby
interact and respond to other people? Does the baby
engage (initiate? respond?) in social games? (1) Attachment -- How does the baby
react when mother/father leaves the home? When mother/father return? Does the baby
smile? fuss? Reach out for contact? Note contextual factors (was baby
left in a familiar room? How long was the baby
separated from the parent? Were the others people in the room familiar to the baby
(2) Peer relations ? How does the baby
interact with other babies
and young children? Does the baby
look at, smile, touch other young children? Do they play interactive games? How do they interact over toys (turn-taking, fighting over, hitting with?)?
Language ? (1) Expressive language ? what sounds does the baby
make? How many different utterances did you hear? Was the baby
cooing? Babbling? How did the baby?s gestures and the context make the meaning clearer? Were sounds connected to the baby?s apparent feelings at the moment (happy sounds, angry sounds)? Were the baby?s vocalizations related to what adults were saying or doing? Did the baby
utter words? How many? What were they? What parts of speech were they? Does the toddler speak in two or three word phrases? Sentences? (2) Receptive language ? Did the baby
appear to understand more than he or she could say? How does the baby
respond to verbal requests? Which behaviors and responses let you know that the baby
apparently understood what was being said? Does the toddler follow simple directions?
Perceptual ? What does the baby
look at? What sights (e.g., colors, patterns, people) and sounds (e.g., music, children?s voices) does the baby
seem to prefer? What makes you think so?
Motor ? Young baby
: can the baby
lift own head without support? Roll over? Hold small object in hand? Sit with support? Lift cup by handle? Older baby
: can the baby
sit alone without support? Crawl? Raise self to sitting position? Stand up by pulling self up on furniture? Bang two objects together? Sit down unaided? Stand alone? Walk alone? Walk up stairs? Jump off floor with both feet?
Cognitive ? How does the baby
explore objects (mouthing, grasping, shaking, banging, inspecting)? How does the baby
respond if an object goes out of sight? If the object is out of reach? How does the baby
explore effects of its own body movements? Does the baby
imitate the behavior of others? Does the baby
look at pictures in a book? Turn the pages? Does the older baby
engage in goal-directed actions on objects? Does the toddler show understanding of categories (e.g., animals, vehicles)? Of concepts? How do you know?
*Introductory paragraph (where you observed the infant
, how you selected the infant
, age of infant
, use initials or first name only of infant
, domains that you observed, how long you observed).
*Brief description of setting (physical environment and social environment).
*Discuss the infant
's range of behaviors and level of functioning in each of the two domains that you selected. Try to characterize the infant?s
current functioning in each domain. Use textbook, lecture, handouts to help gauge the infant
's level of development.
*Link the two domains of development?.how do the infant
's abilities in one domain affect functioning in the other domain?
*How did the social and physical environment affect the infant
's behavior when you were observing?
*Conclusion. What did you learn about infant
development from observing this infant
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