Observation Assignment (.doc)

Psyc 254 – Dr. Anziano
Child Observation Paper ( 2-3 pages typed double spaced)
This assignment includes a visit to the Campus Child Development Center. The best times for
observation will generally be between 8:30 and 11:30 am, and after 2pm when children are up from the
afternoon rest time (nap for most). Please sign-in at the reception desk, and proceed to one of the
observation rooms to view children’s behavior in the classroom. With permission from the center Director
or a staff member, you may also observe outside on the playground.
Using the Textbook select a relevant psychological concept or aspect of child development from
Chapter 3, 4, or 5. Briefly explain the concept or topic based on the information in the Text, and find
another source such as a psychology journal article, book chapter or web site that has relevant
psychological information on the topic. Using both the Text and the second source, provide a one page
summary of the topic. Be sure to relate the summary information to the specific age group of children you
observe at the Center, as the children there range in age from 1 year to 5 and one-half years old.
Examples of possible concepts/topics for this age range include:
Language development (how do children use language to solve problems, ask questions, help
others, manipulate others, invite, command, etc).
Piaget’s sensorimotor stages of development; Fine and gross motor development
Pre operational thought (Piaget’s theory)
Social competence or social skills; Reasoning and problem solving
Dramatic play, pretend play, fantasy play, creativity
Gender roles / gender differences in play
Goal directed behavior or “means-end” behavior
Teaching children – Vygotsky’s “zone of proximal development”
From your observation of the classroom, provide evidence and specific examples that illustrate
the concept you selected. How do children (or a particular child) demonstrate the concept in their actions
and behavior? Why is this concept important to the development of young children? How does it relate
to growth and development in general?
Cite the reference for the second source at the end of the paper. See the References section at
the end of the Text for examples of how to cite most sources in APA citation style.
Finding Sources: Look in Reed Library for psychology journals. One excellent choice would be the journal
titled Young Children. Use the Reed Library web page and search under “Articles” using Psyc Info or Psyc
Articles for more on-line sources.
Due Date: Feb 18 (may be turned in earlier, but not after due date!!)