9780138884963

Using Observation in Early Childhood Education

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780138884963

  • ISBN10:

    013888496X

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 6/23/2003
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Summary

Written by a prolific, well-respected author, this book teaches how to observe, document, and assess children's development and progress--emphasizing how powerful ethical, responsible observation can be in a teacher's professional life. Focusing on observations as an intrinsic part of authentic assessment, the author advocates a protective, respectful attitude toward it. Provides an overview of various informal and formal observation and assessment strategies, as well as instruction in how to embed observation into the daily routine of the early childhood classroom. Explores ways to prevent problems, ways to solve problems, and ways to work cooperatively with parents. Included is coverage of the ethics of observation and the pros and cons of standardized testing as it relates to observation and assessment. For early childhood teachers.

Table of Contents

PART I The Power, Process, and Ethics of Observation in Early Childhood 1(40)
CHAPTER 1 The Power of Observation in Early Childhood
3(18)
There Is Power in Observation
4(11)
Observation Facilitates Learning About Child Development
4(1)
Observation 1s Preferable to Formal Testing of Young Children
5(3)
Observation Is the First Step in Constructing Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum and Instructional Methods
8(2)
Observation Is the First Step in Making Wise Child Guidance Decisions
10(4)
Observation Enables Teachers to Reflect on Their Own Practices
14(1)
Observation 1s the Key to Preventing or Solving Many Problems
14(1)
Activities to Help You Construct Knowledge and Skills in Observing
15(2)
References
17(2)
Web Sites Related to This Chapter
19(2)
CHAPTER 2 The Ethics and Process of Observing
21(20)
Hannah's Teacher
22(1)
The Ethics of Observation
22(9)
Protect Children's Privacy
23(4)
Develop and Communicate Policies About Confidentiality of Observations
27(2)
Avoid Triangulation
29(1)
Know When You Are Required to Divulge Confidential Information
29(2)
The Process of Observing
31(7)
Observation Is an Active Process
31(2)
Useful Observation Is Systematic
33(5)
Activities to Help You Construct Knowledge and Skills in Observing
38(1)
References
39(1)
Web Sites Related to This Chapter
39(2)
PART II Methods of Observing and Documenting Progress and Development in Early Childhood 41(86)
CHAPTER 3 Anecdotal Records: A Short Narrative Method of Observation
45(20)
Anecdotal Records
46(12)
Anecdotal Records-Description
46(1)
Use Anecdotal Records for Preplanned or Spontaneous Observations
47(2)
Guidelines for Writing Anecdotal Records (Bergen, 1997)
49(9)
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Anecdotal Records
58(2)
Advantages of Anecdotal Records
58(2)
Disadvantages of Anecdotal Records
60(1)
Using Anecdotal Records Effectively
60(1)
Organize the Anecdotes Well
60(1)
Have a Clear Plan for Analyzing and Using Information from Anecdotes
61(1)
Activities to Help You Construct Knowledge and Skills in Observing
61(2)
References
63(1)
Web Sites Related to This Chapter
63(2)
CHAPTER 4 Running Records: A Longer Narrative Method of Observation
65(20)
Running Records
66(1)
Running Record: Description
66(2)
A Running Record Is a Narrative Form of Observation
66(1)
A Running Record Is an Open Form of Observation
66(1)
A Running Record Is a Longer Form of Observation Than an Anecdotal Record
66(1)
Observers Do Not Participate in Activities When Doing Running Records
67(1)
Format of a Running Record
68(5)
Suggested Form
68(1)
Parts of the Running Record Report: Explanation
68(5)
Establish a Focus for Running Records
73(3)
Reasons for Having a Focus
73(1)
Selecting the Focus
73(3)
Advantages and Disadvantages of Observing with Running Records
76(6)
Disadvantages of Running Records
76(5)
Advantages of Running Records
81(1)
Activities to Help You Construct Knowledge and Skills in Observing
82(1)
References
82(1)
Web Sites Related to This Chapter
83(2)
CHAPTER 5 Checklists and Rating Scales: Nonnarrative Methods for Observing Development and Progress
85(18)
Checklists
86(7)
Description
86(2)
Different Ways to Use Checklists
88(2)
Guidelines for Developing Checklists
90(2)
Advantages of Using Checklists
92(1)
Disadvantages of Using Checklists
93(1)
Rating Scales
93(3)
Description
93(1)
Types of Rating Scales
94(2)
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Rating Scales
96(1)
Suggestions for Increasing the Power of Checklists and Rating Scales
96(3)
Combine Checklists and Rating Scales with Anecdotal or Running Records
96(1)
Add Space to Checklist and Rating Scale Forms for Comments, Date, Summary
97(1)
Develop a Checklist or Rating Scale Plan
97(2)
Place Observations and Assessments on a Timeline
99(1)
Activities to Help You Construct Knowledge and Skills in Observing
99(1)
References
100(1)
Web Sites Related to This Chapter
101(2)
CHAPTER 6 Documenting and Reporting Development and Progress: Children's Products, Observation Reports, and Portfolios
103(24)
Documenting and Reporting Development and Progress
104(1)
Documentation
104(1)
Reporting
104(1)
Different Ways to Document and Report Development and Progress
105(4)
Document and Report with Children's Products and Work Samples
105(1)
Document and Report with Documentary Displays
106(1)
Document and Report with Observation Reports
106(3)
Portfolios: Pulling It All Together
109(4)
What Is a Portfolio?
110(1)
Benefits of Portfolios
110(1)
Benefits of Portfolios for Children
110(1)
Benefits o f Portfolios for Teachers
111(2)
Benefits of Portfolios for Parents
113(1)
Types of Portfolios
113(4)
Current-Year Portfolio
114(2)
Permanent Portfolio
116(1)
Contents of Portfolios
117(5)
Child-Produced Materials
117(2)
Teacher-Produced Materials
119(3)
Items Produced by Others
122(1)
Portfolios Are Useful for All Young Children
122(1)
Activities to Help You Construct Knowledge and Skills in Observing
123(1)
References
123(2)
Web Sites Related to This Chapter
125(2)
PART III Using Observation 127(124)
CHAPTER 7 Observing Behavior: Cracking the Code
131(20)
Authoritative Caregiving and Observation (Case Study)
132(1)
Reasons for Observing Children's Behavior
133(9)
Children Communicate with Behavior
133(1)
Observe Behavior to Discover and Build on Children's Strengths
134(1)
Observe Behavior to Assess Special Needs
135(2)
Observe Behavior as the First Step in Dealing with Challenging Behavior
137(1)
Observe Behavior to Recognize Children's Feelings, Signs of Stress, or Signs of Child Abuse and Neglect
138(4)
Who, What, When, Where, Why: Five Questions About Behavior
142(3)
Background o f Michael's Behavior
142(1)
Synopsis of Observations of Michael's Behavior
142(1)
Who Was Involved in This Behavior?
142(1)
What Happened?
143(1)
When Did the Behavior Occur?
143(1)
Where Does the Behavior Typically Take Place?
143(1)
Why Does the Child Behave This Way?
144(1)
Activities to Help You Construct Knowledge and Skills in Observing
145(2)
References
147(1)
Web Sites Related to This Chapter
147(4)
CHAPTER 8 Using the Eclectic Approach to Observe Motor and Cognitive Development
151(32)
An Observation and Assessment Dilemma
152(2)
Purposes of This Chapter
154(1)
Explain the Eclectic Approach to Observing Development
154(1)
Describe, Explain, and Give Examples of Different Categories of Observation and Assessment Strategies
154(1)
Reiterate Major Reasons for Observing Children's Development
154(1)
Categories of Observation and Assessment Strategies
154(1)
Standardized Assessment Instruments
155(1)
Description and Purpose: Standardized Tests
155(1)
Problems with Standardized Tests
156(1)
Teacher-Made and Ready-Made Observation and Assessment Tools
156(1)
Ready-Made Assessment Instruments
157(1)
Teacher-Made Observation Instruments
157(1)
Observing and Assessing Motor Development
157(14)
Definitions
157(1)
Different Children, Different Levels of Motor Development
158(1)
Observing the Basics About Large Motor Development
158(1)
Going Beyond the Basics in Assessing Motor Development
159(1)
Identify Developmental Lags in Motor Skills
160(1)
An Example of a Standardized Test for Assessing Motor Development: Cratty's Perceptual-Motor Behaviors Checklist
160(1)
Teacher-Made Observation Instruments for Assessing Motor Development
160(2)
A Ready-Made Informal Observation Instrument for Assessing Motor Development: Williams's Preschool Motor Development Checklist
162(3)
A Ready-Made Observation Instrument: Project Spectrum
165(3)
Authentic Assessment of Motor Skill
168(1)
Wise Use of Observation in Action
169(2)
Observing Cognitive Development
171(5)
Major Cognitive Ability: 2- to 6-Year-Olds Can Represent Experiences
171(1)
Limitations on Preoperational Thinking
172(3)
Concrete Operational Stage: Major Changes in Cognition
175(1)
Memory
176(3)
Definitions
176(3)
Activities to Help You Construct Knowledge and Skills in Observing
179(1)
References
179(1)
Web Sites Related to This Chapter
180(3)
CHAPTER 9 Using the Eclectic Approach to Observe Emotional and Social Development
183(32)
Children's Feelings: Emotional Development
184(6)
Definition of Emotion
184(1)
Basic Emotions
184(1)
Self-Conscious Emotions
185(1)
Emotional Regulation
186(1)
Emotional Intelligence
187(1)
The Brain's Role in Emotional Regulation and Emotional Intelligence
187(3)
A Child's Feelings: Anger as an Example
190(3)
Anger Is a Basic Emotion, Perceived as Unpleasant
190(1)
What Causes Anger for Children?
191(1)
How Do Children Express Anger?
191(2)
Children's Peer Relationships Their Role in Social Development
193(1)
Three Levels of Peer Experiences: Interactions, Relationships, Groups
193(6)
Children's Interactions
193(1)
Children's Relationships
194(1)
Children's Groups
194(1)
Social Competence
195(1)
Vygotsky and Piaget: A Constructivist Look at the Value of Peer Relationships
196(2)
Social Skills
198(1)
Play
199(3)
Reframing Our Perspective on Sequences of Play
199(2)
Snapshots of Play
201(1)
Observing Emotional and Social Development
202(7)
Social Attributes Checklist: A Ready-Made Instrument
202(3)
Teacher-Made Instruments: Mr. Ne11is Uses Checklists, Anecdoral Records, and Photographs
205(4)
Activities to Help You Construct Knowledge and Skills in Observing
209(1)
References
210(1)
Web Sites Related to This Chapter
211(4)
CHAPTER 10 Using Observation to Prevent and Solve Problems
215(18)
Adopting a Problem-Solving Perspective
216(3)
Reflective Teachers Acknowledge That Problems Exist
216(1)
Reflective Teachers Are Professional and Act Ethically When Solving Problems
216(1)
Reflective Teachers Responsibly Manage Emotions When Solving Problems
217(2)
Reflective Teachers Value Observation as a Tool in Problem Solving
219(1)
Problem Solving in Action
219(1)
Problem Solving in Action: Mrs. Vargas (Preschool)
219(3)
The Problem: Child Abuse and Neglect
219(1)
How Mrs. Vargas Used Observation: Checklist and Anecdotal Records
220(2)
Problem Solving in Action: Mr. Claiborne (First Grade)
222(3)
The Problem: A Child's Fear
222(1)
How Mr. Claiborne Used Observation: Running Record and Anecdotal Records
222(3)
Problem Solving in Action: Mr. Ne11is (K-2)
225(2)
The Problem: Child Hurts Others When She Is Angry
225(1)
How Mr. Nellis Used Observation: Anecdotal Records and a Rating Scale
226(1)
Problem Solving in Action: Mr. Lee (Third and Fourth Grades)
227(2)
The Problem: Minimize Stress for a Child Who Moves to New School
227(1)
How Mr. Lee Used Observation: Checklist
228(1)
Activities to Help You Construct Knowledge and Skills in Observing
229(1)
References
229(1)
Web Sites Related to This Chapter
230(3)
CHAPTER 11 Using Observation to Become a Reflective Practitioner
233(6)
Professional Development Plans: Oaklawn School (Case Study)
234(1)
Reflection in Teaching
234(5)
What Is Reflection in Teaching?
234(1)
Reflection: A Professional Responsibility
235(1)
Different Teachers, Different Beliefs About Self-Reflection
235(1)
Levels of Reflection in Teaching
236(2)
School Environments That Encourage Reflective Teaching
238(1)
Observation: The Foundation of Reflection in Teaching
239(1)
ECERS-R (Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised)
239(1)
Description
239(1)
Administration and Scoring of ECERS-R
240(1)
APEEC (Assessment of Practices in Early Elementary Classrooms)
240(2)
Description
240(1)
Administration and Scoring of APEEC
241(1)
Reflection in Action
242(6)
Group Action Plan
243(1)
Me Lee: Reflecting on Conflict Resolution
243(1)
Mr. Nellis's Action Plan
244(1)
Mr. Netfis Reflects
245(3)
Activities to Help You Construct Knowledge and Skills in Observing
248(2)
References
250(1)
Web Sites Related to This Chapter
250(1)
APPENDIX A
Suggestions for Organizing Periodic and Final Observation Reports
251(1)
Outline for Periodic or Final Observation Reports for an Individual Child
251(4)
APPENDIX B
Suggested Items to Look for in Observing a Play Material or Activity
255(2)
APPENDIX C
Selected Observation Forms Used in This Textbook
257(22)
Name Index 279(4)
Subject Index 283

Excerpts

Welcome toUsing Observation in Early Childhood Education.My purpose in writing this text was to give students a book that will help them understand the process of observation. I want students to be able to observe, document, and assess children's development and progress. I want students to know just how powerful a tool ethical and responsible observation can be in their professional life. I have constructed this textbook so that it, like my other textbook,Guidance of Young Children,reflects my beliefs about children. I believe that protecting children is a teacher's most important role.Students reading this text should understand that we teach and protect children most effectively by making active conscious choices about our practices, including how we assess and observe children. We protect children when we refuse to use inappropriate assessment strategies that are potentially harmful. We protect children by observing ethically and responsibly and by protecting children's privacy. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), in its Code of Ethical Conduct, notes that the most important part of the code is that early childhood professionals never engage in any practice that hurts or degrades a child. I take this advice seriously. Students who use this textbook will learn only responsible, ethical strategies and a respectful approach to observing and assessing young children. I believe that observation is a powerful tool.Students who read this book should come away convinced that they can use observation to increase their effectiveness as professionals. Students will learn how to observe children and document their development and progress. They will also learn to use observation to observe children's behavior, to become reflective practitioners, to prevent or solve problems, and to work with parents. I believe that we have a choice about how we observe and use observation.Students have a choice about how they responsibly observe and assess children. Students should know that the methods they choose do matter, and should know how to choose informal and formal observation and assessment strategies. They should also know how to embed the observations in the daily life of a classroom. I believe that there is no one right way to observe and assess children's development and progress, but that there are many good ways.This textbook will give students a clear and precise picture of major observation strategies. It will urge them to use a single developmentally appropriate observational strategy, or a combination of these, to get the information that they need. My hope is that they will value the opportunity to use a variety of observational strategies. SPECIAL FEATURES OF THIS TEXT Students will see how these teachers have woven observation into the fabric of their teaching: Mrs. Vargas (preschool), Mr. Claiborne (first grade), Mr. Nellis (K-2), and Mr. Lee (third grade). An emphasis on observation as a part of authentic assessment of young children. Discussion of problems associated with standardized testing of young children. A discussion of the ethics of observation. Practical and specific help in doing observations in a time-efficient way. Clear descriptions of specific major observational methods. Many examples of observational methods--examples from real classrooms. If running records are under discussion, then several running records are presented. They are not just described. Students see real examples. Case studies for many of the chapters. Helpful figures throughout the text, such as a timeline for observing, checklists, and rating scales. Real-life examples of observations from primary, kindergarten, and preschool classrooms. Terms that are clearly defined. Student-friend

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