Childhood and Adolescent Observation

EPSY 202

Assignment: ?Childhood and Adolescent Observation
Introduced: ?January 28, 2016

Learning Objectives
The objective of this assignment is to help students identify and describe major theories of child development and apply this knowledge across diverse cultures.
Assignment Description
During this semester, students are expected to visit a site (e.g. school classroom, daycare, camp, church event, community center, after school program, etc.) where children are engaged in a structured (or semi-structured) activity for at least 1 ½ hours. The group selected can consist of elementary age through high school age children.
This assignment is worth 100 points. After the visit has been conducted, students are required to write a paper describing their observations and connecting these observations to developmental theories presented in class on child and adolescent development. In order to help establish a context of your observations, the paper should include the following information.
• The age range of the children observed
• A description of the observed lesson/activity
• A description of the instructional strategies being used by the supervising adult (i.e. small group, whole group, lecture, etc.)
• A description of resources being used by the supervising adult (i.e. technology, textbooks, worksheets, etc.)
• Provide documentation from the supervising adult of the children observed.

While developing your paper, please consider the works of Erik Erikson, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, and other childhood development theorist presented in the Berk textbook (a minimal of 4 is required). Given the age range of the children observed what should be our expectations relative to social skills, motor skills, the ability to reason, language development, etc. Please consider how specific theories and key concepts about teaching and learning were evidenced during your observations? Further, describe how students addressed required tasks. Were they successful? If not, how might it be attributed to their development level given a particular theory described in EPSY 202? Lastly, describe how the discoveries from the observation might be applied to future professional practices (i.e. How might newly this acquired information influence future professional practices or interactions with children?).
Additional Instructions:
This paper should be written using Times Romans 12 font and double spaced. The completed document should be submitted as a hard copy to the instructor.

To whom it may concern,
I would like to thank you for allowing my student to observe your students/children today. Please know you are greatly helping further their education through their Educational Psychology Child and Adolescent Development course. I ask that you sign below to verify that the student was given permission to observe your students/child. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.
Again, thank you,
Teaching Assistant

Name of Student_________________________________________________________________

Parent/ Guardian/Supervising Adult signature _________________________________________________________
e-mail address/phone # ____________________________________________________________

Date ______________________

EPSY 202: Childhood/Adolescent Observation Rubric
100 points
School Information
(20 )
Provides clear details about the observation site

Provides documentation of observation
Nearly all details are present about the observation site

Provides documentation of observation

Limited details about the observation site.
*Failure to provide documentation of observation will automatically have 10 points deducted from assignments.

(Discoveries, Reactions, Professional development)
Evidence of effort significantly “above the ordinary” to summarize and integrate observations into written synthesize

Makes clear connections between site observations and the key works of 4 or more influential educators

Clearly ties discoveries from observations to future professional practices
Clearly summarizes and integrates observations into written synthesis
Most connections made between site observations and the key works of 4 influential educators are expressed in a clear manner.

Moderately ties discoveries from observations to future professional practices
Summary or integration of observation is very limited.

Limited consideration of future applications.


Mechanics of Writing

Clear command of written language.

Professional presentation.

Writing is clear and straightforward.

Writing contains occasional minor errors of grammar, word use, or punctuation.
Professional presentation

Sentence structure and/or logic obscure quality of written communication.

Writing contains frequent or major errors in grammar, word use, or punctuation.
Would benefit from an editorial review
Advice and Tidbits for Observations

1. Arrive on time.

2. Come prepared to give 100% of your attention.

3. Leave all chewing gum outside of this building. Most schools have a no gum chewing policy. The students will tell you about this policy should you forget.

4. Limit what you bring into the classrooms.
5. Dress in a professional manner. No jogging suits, t-shirts, muscle shirts, revealing clothing items, flip-flop shoes, or jeans should be worn. Simple dress style will be appropriate for this experience.

6. Maintain a positive and gracious attitude throughout this experience.
7. No cell phone use inside the school building.

8. Take notes. They will be helpful in writing your reaction paper.
9. Come to class prepared to talk about your observations.

10. Enjoy the experience
I just want you to write any initial name and any praimy school in Indianapolis just google it. The one in down is sample paper.

202 Student
March 21, 2013
EPSY 202/ Section 002
Childhood Observation Assignment
On February 11th, I observed Mrs. Harlow’s first grade classroom at South Knox Elementary School. South Knox Elementary is located in my hometown, Vincennes, and it is where I attended elementary school. I observed a first grade classroom of twenty-six students. The classroom consisted of desks for all of the students, a living room area, and a computer area for the students to take their A.R. tests. A.R. tests are also known as Accelerated Reader Tests, which are tests that a child takes over the book that they have just read multiple times. The classroom had a very homey feel to it, along with plenty of activities for the students to participate in. The homey feel to the room was created by Mrs. Harlow by making her classroom like an actual room in a house. The classroom had a living room area along with couches and chairs for the students to sit in.
I started my classroom observation on a Monday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. When I first arrived at the classroom, the students were reading their A.R. books and taking tests about the books at the computers. The children were individually reading in the dark with their flashlights. The reading theme for February was “Flashlight February.” The children were able to read at their desks or in the designated living room section. They were only allowed to sit in the living room area if they had behaved well throughout the day. At 1:15 p.m., the guidance counselor, Mrs. Bailey, came and met with the first grade students. She taught the first graders a lesson about I-messages and bullying. An I-message is whenever a child uses the word “I” to solve differences with someone else without fighting or getting mad at the other person. This activity was done in a large group with all of the students sitting in the living room area together. In this activity, the guidance counselor discussed self-control and how to stay calm. She also discussed some signs of losing self-control, such as being angry, upset, or stressed. A way to control these signs, she told the students, was by taking deep breaths. To end the activity, the guidance counselor read them a story called “When I Feel Angry.” The first graders interacted with her by asking questions and providing examples of situations when they had felt angry. At 1:45 p.m., Mrs. Harlow had the children sound out words together as a whole. The word they were sounding out was “self-regulation.” She then gave the students math flashcards. The students had to add and subtract the math questions and write the answer on the back of each flashcard. At 1:50 p.m., it was time for the first graders’ milk break and recess. The children came back in from recess at 2:10 p.m., and Mrs. Harlow divided the students up into groups of four or five. She had planned a lesson for the children to play “Mother May I” with their math flashcards. The children had to answer the math question correctly in order for them to be able to move closer to the student acting as the “mother” or “father” of the game. The child who reached the “mother” or “father” first took over their role. If the children did not say “Mother May I”, they had to go back to where they originally started. The children were very loud during this activity, but it showed the children’s true personalities. Mrs. Harlow stopped the game with a wooden train whistle. At 2:30 p.m., the children were being released to the restrooms and the library. The quietest children were released to leave Mrs. Harlow’s classroom first.
I observed several different activities while I was in Mrs. Harlow’s first grade classroom. In the time period that I was there, Mrs. Harlow used both small group and large group instructional strategies. Some of the resources that Mrs. Harlow used were worksheets and flashcards, books for the children to read, the white marker board for the children to sound out the word “self-regulation”, and computers for them to take their A.R. Tests. The guidance counselor, Mrs. Bailey, used a book and a poster board as her resources during her activity with the students. The poster board that was used had pictures and words on it to help her present her lesson to the children. I believe that Mrs. Bailey’s lesson strategy was very effective as a large group. The children were able to participate and share their stories together. I believe that the way Mrs. Harlow divided the class into small groups for “Mother May I” was also very effective. In the small groups they were able to show their true personalities and the group had to work together in order to be able to move closer to the “mother” or “father”.
The four educational psychologists that describe certain theories that were done in Mrs. Harlow’s first grade classroom were Erik Erikson, Ivan Pavlov, Jean Piaget, and Lev Vygotsky. Erikson’s Psychological Stage, industry versus inferiority was accomplished in the game “Mother May I”. The industry versus inferiority stage is from the ages of six to eleven. This stage states that children develop the capacity to work together and cooperate with others while at school. The children were forced to cooperate and work together in order for the game to be done correctly. The children had to cooperate with others throughout the day in order to play the game “Mother May I”. Mrs. Harlow uses the theme cooperation in the majority of her teaching strategies. Cooperation with others is the deciding factor on what allows the children to sit in the living room section of her classroom. Mrs. Harlow sets up the desks in group of four, which forces the children to get along with each other. If the children do not get along then they are not moved until they work out their differences. The children addressed the required task successfully by completing what was asked of them in the industry versus inferiority stage.
Mrs. Harlow also used techniques from Pavlov’s studies of animal learning. She used the technique classical conditioning. Mrs. Harlow did this by giving her students privileges for doing something good and she gave the other students nothing if they did something bad. For example, in order to play “Mother May I” the students had to complete the flashcards and follow her instructions. If the students obeyed her then they got to play “Mother May I”, and if they did not follow directions they did not get to participate in the game. She trains her students by saying things such as “boys” and “girls”, which tells the children that it is time to be quiet so that Mrs. Harlow can speak. Classical conditioning is used successfully in her classroom.
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development, concrete operational was accomplished through the Accelerated Reader tests. The concrete operational stage is from ages seven to eleven. This stage states that children’s reasoning becomes logical and better organized, and the children start to organize objects into hierarchies of classes and subclasses. In A.R. the children take tests about the books that they have recently read. This is completed due to the fact that children have to understand what they have read in order to be tested over it. During the concrete operational stage, the sentences start to come together and are more organized. At the age’s seven to eleven, children understand that pigs, dogs, bears, and monkeys fit into the same category such as animals. This is done by the organizing of classes. The concrete operational stage was successfully completed in the children in the first grade age group.
Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory focuses on how culture is transmitted to the next generation. Vygotsky viewed cognitive development as a socially mediated process, in which children depend on assistance from adults and more-expert peers as they tack new challenges (Berk). Mrs. Harlow used this theory by combining students with different learning abilities into a group. The children are not sorted out, but they are told to behave in their group. Mrs. Harlow has no favorites in here class and treats all of her students equally. Mrs. Harlow supports the theory that if you are nice to someone they will be nice back. She is very nice to her students and expects for them to treat her the same way back. Mrs. Harlow believes that it is all about the children’s environment. The sociocultural theory was successful in her classroom.
This newly acquired information could definitely be used in future professional practices for future educators. These theories provided by different educational psychologist could be used to help a future educator make lesson plans and influence some of their teaching strategies based on the main ideas from the psychologists. I am majoring in speech-language pathology, so I could definitely use some of these theories when working with children who fit into the appropriate age groups. I could base my teaching and games off of the theories of any of the psychologists. The theories that really will influence me the most in my future professional practice will be Erikson’s industry versus inferiority stage and Pavlov’s classical conditioning. Cooperating well with others is a very important factor to me. Classical conditioning will help me to teach my students what is wrong from right by rewarding them with objects or positive reinforcement. I have a passion for children and I believe that these theories will help me in the future to become a successful educator.

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