Learning to Observe
Your most basic technique for understanding children, the foundation of all the other ways that you will learn about them.
It is the most important technique because many things that children cannot express through spoken words can be inferred by watching them in their natural settings.
Is to take notice to watch attentively, to focus on one particular part of a complex whole.
It means perceiving both the total picture and the significant detail.
What You Gain From Observation
Through observation you develop:
In-depth understanding of individual children-how they think, feel, and view the world, and their interests, skills, characteristic responses, and areas of strength and weakness
Increased sensitivity to children in general- awareness of the range of development and a heightened awareness of the unique qualities of childhood and the world of children
Understanding of social relationships- among children and between children and adults and how these can be facilitated
Awareness of the environment-how well it is meeting the needs of children, families and staff; and how might be improved
Increased ability to share meaningful aspects of children’s development and the ability to make visible the power of children’s learning
To observe more effectively and separate out feelings and reactions from what is actually seen, it is useful to divide the observation process into three components:
Observing: gathering information
Recording: documenting what you have observed in a variety of ways
Interpreting: reflecting on what your observations might mean
When Observing one must
Try to reduce the distortions that result from biases, defenses or preconceptions
Must go beyond the obvious
You will learn to focus on features of a child’s:
Tone of voice
Ways of moving and manipulating objects
Interactions with others
Guidelines use when you enter a setting to observe children
Learn to observe unobtrusively
Enter the situation quietly
Sit at the child’s eye level
Close enough to see and hear
Do not get involve while you are observing
Briefly answer children’s questions about who you are and what you are doing.
Learning to write observations
Clearly separate what you observe
Use adverbs and adjectives these help to enhance our ability to visualize the subject.
Describe what the child does.
Remember not only what you see, but also observe with your other senses.
The words children use, the sounds, smells and temperature in the environment are also part of what you observe.
From what you think about what you observe
Avoid words that have strong emotional impact or bias built into them.
Do not give your views of what he or she is, feels, wishes or intends.
Opinions of children such us, pretty, cute, bright, attractive, good, messy, slow, mean , or naughty are to be avoid