I will reflect on the Implications for practice of the assessment of children through observation. Next I will evaluate the way theoretical views on aspects of practice affect the development of children. To conclude I will carry out three observations on children between the above age groups using different observation techniques. Throughout the essay I will evaluate how assessments through observations can have implications on practice including a discussion about diversity and inclusiveness.
Through understanding the expected pattern of development it enables practitioners o provide experiences and support for children to develop skills In all areas of their development (Beaver et al, 2008). It Is Important to acknowledge that all children develop at their own pace and In their own time. According to Beaver et al (2008) “a group of children of the same age wont reach the same milestones at exactly the same time. The same child may well reach milestones in some areas of their development earlier than expected, and reach milestones in other areas later.
For example, a child may crawl and walk earlier than expected, but begin to talk a little later” (p. 36. ). A child’s development in communication and language Is greatly Influenced by many factors, for example, his/her environment, or the experiences he or she has. If children from a young age are exposed to a rich environment this is evident in their language development. Children who have not been exposed too similar environment will not have the same chances for development (Beaver et al, 2008). Communication and language development – birth – 3 years go through a sequence of stages.
From birth, a child will cry to communicate and indicate a need with its career as well as use of eye contact (Beaver et al, 2008). The elf and support a baby is given from an adult role model is also crucial. When interacting with babies it is important to make them feel valued by making eye contact and giving them your full attention. “Babies need to share language experiences and cooperate with others from birth onwards. From the start babies need other people” (Bruce & Megabit, 2006, p. 225. ). “Stimulation can be as simple as talking to a young baby and achieving or maintaining eye contact” (Beaver et al, 2008, p. 54. ). Speech development is gradual and begins soon as a baby is born. “Children will only build up a wide vocabulary if they are exposed to one, so it is important that early years practitioners use a wide and varied vocabulary with all children they work with” (Beaver et al, 2008, p. 456. ). Children at 8 weeks of age onwards may smile when spoken to and develop gurgling and cooing sounds as their way of responding to their career’s voice. Babies start to recognize and “link familiar sounds such as the face and voice of a career” (Beaver et al, 2008, p. 41 . . Children then start to move their head or eyes toward the course of a sound nearby or raise their head when a sound captivates their attention (Beaver et al, 2008). The opportunity to bond with the main career is of most importance in young children O -3 months. Providing lots of cuddles and loving conversation which maintains eye contact helps a child become familiar with the careers voice and provide them with a sense of security. Allowing the baby time to respond to you through cooing and gurgling and showing pleasure in their response is important. Babies need a lot of physical contact with adults, who will spend time with them, caring for them and meeting their needs. This will enable babies to communicate and feel safe” (Beaver et al, 2008, p . 54. ). It is important to smile and copy your baby’s facial expressions. By imitating your baby you are showing your support and valuing what they are trying to tell you. As stated in Beaver et al (2008) “this turn-taking between career and infant was identified in the sass by Stern who put forward the theory that infants learn the basis of their social interactions in this way’ (p. 489. ).
At 6 months, babies are beginning to enjoy sounds of music and rhymes, usually with actions. Cooing, laughing, gurgling, squealing and babbling are frequently heard. This is a baby’s way f using their voice to create playful sounds while developing language and communicating with their career and to grab the attention of their career (Beaver et al, 2008). “He can respond to a wide range of sounds but especially low frequently sounds such as that of the human voice” (Smith, 2009, p. 1 Beaver et al (2008) states “these sounds are also used now to intentionally call for a career’s attention” (p . 464. ).
Between 6-9 months babies start to recognize their own name and begin to understand simple words such as yes, no and bye. It is important to talk to babies when speaking to them and let them know what is happening all the time. Through repetition of words and singing songs encourages a young child to vocalism and explore their language. Babies enjoy their ability to gurgle, coo and blow raspberries. They are able to listen when spoken to and try to repeat what is said to them. The more you talk to your baby and repeat what you are saying will help them develop their listening and expose the child to patterns of speech. Children’s language being developed. These include speech perception, establishment of communication patterns, babbling, passive understanding of speech and imitation” (Smith, 2009, p. 214. ). Common consonants are apparent during this age group, for example, mamma. “Children, when they do imitate, process what they hear” (Smith, 2009, p. 182. ). This links to Tee Harkin, Strand 4: Communication – Man Ere, goal 2 “children experience an environment where they develop verbal communication skills for a range of purposes (Ministry of Education, 1996, p. 76. ).
According to Beaver et al (2008) “infants enjoy playing with careers and enjoy vocally expressing themselves”) p. 43. ). At 9-12 months, the child’s vocabulary is starting to develop as they understand a lot more than they are able to vocalizes. They are able to follow simple instructions such as “kiss teddy’ . It is important at this stage to constantly talk to your baby, name objects, sing songs, tell rhymes and point out items, people and name them as repetition helps anchor the memory of words and sounds (Bruce & Megabit, 2006). At 12 months it is important that we surround the child with language to develop their communication skills.
Constant talking about what we are doing when we do everyday activities, for example, hanging out the washing, folding the washing all help a child to develop their understanding of communication. As stated in Beaver et al (2008) ‘parents and careers should spent time talking and playing with baby. It is important to remember that babies need repeat activities and experiences in order to acquire skills before they move on to the next stage” (p. 459. ). At this age children begin to talk and use gestures alongside this to help express to others what they want and need. They point at and often name parts of their body, objects, people and pictures in books” (Bruce & Megabit, 2006, p. 226. ). At 15-18 months the vocabulary of the child is developing. They are starting to learn and remember many rods which usually are familiar objects or familiar people present in their everyday life. They understand a lot of what is said to them. They are beginning to develop the concept of you’ and ‘me’ (Beaver et al, 2008). For children aged 2-3 years their language and communication skills excel. “During this period, language and the ability to communicate develop so rapidly’ (Bruce & Megabit, 2006, p. 26. ). “Researchers used to say that children are using a vocabulary of 50 or so words but they understand more”). Children begin to increase and learn new words and at the GE of two they begin to Join words together. “Vocabulary increases. Joins two words together, e. G. ‘shoes on” (Beaver et al, 2008, p. 47. ). Their sentences become longer and questions are being asked such as what and why, along with their enjoyment in conversations with their career (Bruce & Megabit, 2006). According to Beaver et al (2008) children at the age of three years will “use language for thinking and reasoning” (p. 61 . ). Language can now be used to direct their own actions or the actions of others, and to express their ideas and feelings (Beaver et al, 2008). Some hillier of this age are exposed to two different languages. One being their cultural language which they use in the family home and the other English language which is introduced in the early childhood environment. Intellectual development and learning – birth – 3 years Children from birth to 3 years develop the area of intellectual/cognitive development development which starts from the day a child is born.
From birth a baby is able to explore using their senses. These are touch and movement, sound, taste, smell and sight (Bruce & Megabit, 2006). They also begin “to develop basic concepts such as anger, cold, and wet” (Beaver et al, 2001, p. 124. ). Babies will be sensitive to light, will be able to focus on objects that are a few inches away and will be able to track movements of people and objects. Babies like sweet tastes, for example, breast milk and will turn to the smell of breast milk. Between the age of 3-4 months children are able to recognize different sounds which are around them. By four months they link objects they know with the sound, for example, mother’s voice and her face” (Bruce & Megabit, 2006, p. 228. ). Children also show a greater interest in in their surroundings ND will begin to show an interest in playthings and try to reach out for different objects/toys that are close to them (Bruce & Megabit, 2006). This “suggests they recognize and Judge the distance in relation to the size of the object. This is called depth perception”. (Bruce & Megabit, 2006, p. 228. ). They begin to understand cause and effect, for example, if you move a rattle, it will make a sound.
By 3 months they can even imitate low – or high-pitched sounds By 6 months children learn to recognize and expect certain things to happen (Beaver et al, 2001). “The baby understands signs, e. G. He bib means that food is coming. Soon this understanding of signs will lead into symbolic behavior” (Bruce & Megabit, 2006, 228. ). Babies will have a lot more co-ordination and be able to grasp, reach and suck on a toy. Babies at this age enjoy bright colors and repeating an action over and over. From the age of 9 months to one year a baby’s memory is starting to develop and they can remember the past.
They are starting to learn to anticipate the future, this gives them the understanding of sequences, for example, after a bottle they will be changed then have a sleep in their bed (Bruce & Megabit, 2006). This thinking is links to people and objects” (Bruce & Megabit, 2006, p. 228. ). Babies start to learn about object permanence. By part hiding a baby’s bottle or toy you are allowing him to see where you put it, and he may try and reach for it. They know that the toy exists even though it is hidden or gone out of sight. From 8-9 months babies show they know objects exist when they have gone out of sight, even under test conditions. This is called the concept of object constancy or the object permanence test (as described by Pigged)” (Bruce & Megabit, 2006, IPPP. ). At 12-15 months trial and error is an established part of a child’s learning as they explore their surrounding environment with their senses (Beaver et al, 2001). They will begin to point and follow when other people point. They are beginning to use creativity to express their ideas to others (Beaver et al, 2001).
They begin to recognize that others may think differently than them, for example, they might enjoy an apple and dislike cauliflower. “This is called developing Theory of Mind (understanding how others may feel). It leads to having empathy for others” (Bruce & Megabit, 2006, IPPP. ). At the age of 18 months – 2 years child can refer to themselves by name, for example, when asking to have a turn they will say “Henry have a turn” as opposed to “Can I have a turn”. Children begin to understand the consequences of their own actions, for example, pouring a cup of water onto the floor makes a wet patch.
At this age children begin to watch others moods and feelings of other people, for example, Joy or sadness” (Bruce & Megabit, 2006, 228). This is the beginning of showing empathy/sympathy towards others, for example, trying to comfort someone who is hurt or crying. At the age of 3 years hillier are now able to conserve with you in short sentences as opposed to phrases. They may also be able to continue talking for a short period of time about a topic that interests them. Children of this age can concentration for a short period of time and usually come back to an activity later on.
They are able to recite numbers, name colors, match and sort items/objects into simple sets. The concept of time is beginning to be recognized as they talk about what is going to happen next and look forward to what is going to happen. (Beaver et al, 2008). Communication and language development – 3-7 years Children aged 3-7 years when developing communication and language go through a sequence of stages. At 3 years, children have a wide vocabulary and are beginning to increase the length of their sentences, although sometimes the order of their words is incorrect. Use of plurals, pronouns, adjectives, possessives and tenses” (Beaver et al, 2008, p. 48. ) is being used throughout their sentences. Children are constantly problem solving, enquiring and frequently asking open ended questions to satisfy their curiosity, for example, why, what, how. Language is being used for thinking, reasoning and reporting (Beaver et al, 2008). Children copy what they hear, so it is extremely important that as an adult we choose our words appropriately.
Children enjoy listening to stories, music and rhythms, these are a great way to help develop their communication and language as repetition anchors the memory of words and sounds (Bruce & Megabit, 2006). According to Beaver et al (2008) “as an understanding of language increases so does the enjoyment of music, rhymes and stories” (p. 48. ). At the age of 4 years a child’s vocabulary is extensive and new words are being added regularly. Children are able to extend on telling stories; these may include a sequence of events.
During their play they are now able to involve a running commentary (Bruce & Megabit, 2006). They are able to express words that reflect the way they are feeling, how others feel, and give explanations. At 5-7 years of age a child’s vocabulary is progressing rapidly. They are now asking frequent questions as to how things work and why. Questions are become more precise as the children’s cognitive skills develop. At this age children are beginning to read and it is not uncommon for them to point out words which are familiar to them (Beaver et al, 2008). They are constantly problem solving and working things out.
They are starting to develop the skills to see things from someone else’s point of view – but not always (Beaver et al, 2008). “Between the ages of 5 and 8 years children practice, adapt and refine their language skills” (Beaver et al, 2001, up. 1 53-154. ). They begin to realize that different situations require different ways of talking (Bruce & Megabit, 2006). Intellectual development and learning – 3-7 years Children aged 3-7 years when developing in the area of intellectual development and learning, go through a series of cognitive/intellectual skills.
At 3 years children while engaging in pretend play (Beaver et al, 2008). At 3 years they are able to sort objects into simple categories but “usually by only one criterion at a time, for example, all the cars from a selection of vehicles, but not the cars that are red” (Beaver et al, 2008, p. 125. ). Their concentration levels are for a short period of time. At 4 years children develop memory skills “particularly around significant events, for example, holidays and birthdays, and familiar songs and stories” (Beaver et al, 2001, p. 125. ).
They become confused with fantasy and reality, for example, Henry had news about his trip to Dublin and the colorful parrot he held, and Thomas saying that he too had been to that place and touched the same bird (Beaver et al, 2001). A 4 year old child begins to understand that writing has meaning and begin to use writing in their play (Beaver et al, 2008). They add to their knowledge by asking more and more questions. Simple problems are being solved through trial and error. At 5 years a child is becoming more literate and most children at this age will recognize their own name. Most will recognize own name and write it, respond to kooks to be interested in reading” (Beaver et al, 2001, p. 125. ). Concentration is increasing and at an appropriate task a 5 year old child can concentrate without being distracted for a short period. (Beaver et al, 2008). Symbolic behavior which began at an earlier age has developed further to include body language, and facial gestures (Bruce & Megabit, 2006). At 6 years a child is beginning to understand mathematical concepts such as measuring, weight, length and volume (Beaver et al, 2008).
Their knowledge of What is right and wrong increases as they experience and watch others actions. Their understanding of what is real and what is fantasy is starting to establish. Many children at this age enjoy counting and reading independently. A child of this age may be able to tell the time on a clock. A 7 year old child is developing the ability to reason and understands cause and effect well. “A child’s demonstration of these indications of cognitive development will depend on the expectations a society has of them” (Beaver et al, 2001, p. 126. ).
They are able to perform simple mathematical equations, for example, addition and subtraction. For children to develop and learn in both communication and language and intellectual development and learning, two key factors contribute to how they may develop. These are: “Nature – development occurs in response to the way children are genetically programmed from birth to be able to do certain things at certain times. This is referred to as ‘nature’. Nurture – development occurs in response to the experiences that individual children have from the time they are born throughout their lives. This is referred to as ‘nurture”. Beaver et al, 2008, p. 37. ). It is vital that practitioners observe children regularly so they are able to provide children with experiences, challenges and activities that help them thrive in their development. It is important to provide children with disabilities the same opportunities with access to activities, challengers and experiences which suits their individual needs (Beaver et al, 2008). Hoosegows views of language and cognitive development which relates to communication and language development also intellectual and cognitive He is responsible for the social development theory of learning.
His theory is “a coloratura cognitive theory that emphasizes how culture and social interaction tide cognitive development” (Contracts, 2009, p. 25. ). He was particularly interested in cognitive and language development and their relationships to learning. He believed that “children learn through social interaction and relationships, through the social tool of language” (Beaver et al, 2008, p. 55. ). Whisky believed that families, communities and other children play a significant part in assisting children to learn.
He emphasizes the role of social interaction in teaching and this is where his greatest contribution has been. His theory relates to communication and language development. According to Beaver et al (2008) he said “children first learn how to use language to make them understood – to convey messages and to express their feelings. This enables them to function in society, and they are using language for the social purpose of communication” (p. 57. ). He believed that children learnt language a second time, within their own minds.
This language is Just for the child themselves, and believed this was of importance to children’s thinking. He called this Verbal intelligence’ (Beaver et al, 2008). One of the most important concepts of Hoosegows theory is that of the Proximal Development (ZAP). Viscosity defined this as the distance between the most difficult task a child can do alone and the most difficult task a child can do with help (Garter Mooney, 2000, p. 83. ). Under guidance and help from practitioners/adults and the interaction among their peers, children are empowered to learn and grow which will in turn foster self-reliance and independence.
The concept of the zone of proximal development emphasizes the importance of what has been called ‘scaffolding. This involves observing a child to see what they can and cannot do and planning a curriculum which challenges their current capability (Pound, 2005). Through scaffolding, those with expertise in a particular area, such as parents, teachers, provide the framework or support that enables children to try out new ideas, so as to lead them to greater understanding” (Arthur et al, 2005, p. 81 . ).
Whisky believed that talking is necessary to understand important points but also that talking with others helps us to learn more about communication (Pound, 2005). His theory also promotes inclusive strategies which incorporate children in activities and experiences which are challenging yet achievable. This is ensuring that all children are getting the opportunities to participate. Their strengths are recognized and the practitioner is able to extend on this (Beaver et al, 2008). Hoosegows theory has been especially influential in the study of children’s cognition.
Whisky agreed with Pigged that children are active, constructive beings. But unlike Pigged, who emphasized children’s independent efforts to make sense of their world, Whisky viewed cognitive development as a socially mediated process – as dependent on the assistance that adults and more-expert peers provide as children confront new experiences (A. Croft, Readings, 2011, August 31). Jean Pigged was born in 1896. He developed ‘constructivist’ theories that have been influential, although they have been challenged over the years” (Beaver et al, 2008, p. 54. ).
Pigged believes that “children are active participants in their own learning and that children learn through first-hand and previous experiences” (Beaver et al, 2008, p. 55). Pigged Seniority (birth-rears) – learn through senses, differentiates self from objects and achieves object permanence, Operational (2-7 years) – learns to use language and to represent objects by images and words, Concrete operations (7-11 years) – can hind logically about objects and events, and Formal operational (1 1 years – adult) – able to think logically (Beaver et al, 2008).
The first two stages relate to the intellectual development and learning and communication and language development of a child aged birth – 7 years. Piglet’s theory of cognitive development in a child includes the development of “problem solving, imagination, memory, creativity, concentration and concepts” (Beaver et al, 2001, p. 129. ). Children use language to express their thoughts and emotions. According to Pound (2005) “Pigged saw the child as constantly constructing and re-constructing reality – achieving increased understanding by integrating simple concepts into more complex ones at each stage of development” (p. 7. ). Pigged believed that children learn best through a ‘hands on’ approach which is supported by action. According to Pound (2005) he states that “children need to experiment actively with materials and to experience things in the real world to develop thought” (p. 38. ). Theoretical perspectives can direct practice in different ways, these can be positive or sometimes negative. As stated in Beaver et al (2008) “there are many opposing theories about learning and development” (p. 54. ).
As practitioners we are able to draw on different theorists approaches and take from it what we believe is important and of value for a child’s development and learning. “In practice, most childcare workers will use a blended approach, drawing on aspects of various theories in their own approach to children’s learning and development” (Beaver et al, 2008, p. 54. ). Practitioners need to be aware that every child is different. Developmental milestones are to be used as a guideline. According to Beaver et al (2008) Pigged identified four distinctive stages of cognitive development, each with its own characteristics.
It is important to remember that the ages given are approximate and are intended only as a guide (Beaver et al, 2008). By implementing Hoosegows theory a practitioner is able to observe a child’s current ability and work toward planning a curriculum to suit the child’s individual needs. Whisky described the Zone of Proximal Development (ZAP) as “the gap between what a child can do alone and what they can do with the help of someone more skilled or experienced” (Pound, 2005, p. 40. ). This influences practitioners as they work alongside and with a child to scaffold their learning.
He believed with the appropriate adult help, children can often perform tasks that they are incapable of completing themselves (Beaver et al, 2008). By doing this we are able to provide children with support and motivation to enhance and move their learning forward. Whisky also expressed the vital role in which language and social interaction play in supporting children’s learning. Family and the surrounding communities play an important role. Viscosity expressed the importance of knowledge and past experiences in making sense of new situations.
All new knowledge and skills are greatly influenced by family environment and culture. As cited in Pound (2005) Whisky saw the “experience of talking with adults about familiar everyday experiences as crucial, not only for building knowledge of language but also for an awareness of particular ways of thinking and interpretation their own practitioner in assessing the thinking of each individual child which aids with providing learning experiences which are suits to their individual needs which in turn helps to move their learning forward.
Pigged believed that ‘play played a big role in a child’s learning. By actively allowing children to partake in uninterrupted exploration and play they are able to experience things first hand. Issues which are essential to confidentiality include showing respect for the rights of the child. This includes maintaining child’s confidentiality. Parents and legal guardians have the right to decide if personal information is collected about their children. Written permission must be obtained from the parents/caregiver before observations are carried out. It is essential that practitioner’s obtain permission from parents authorizing them to carry out observations” (Beaver et al, 2008, p. 68. ). When making my observations of a child I did conceal the child’s identity by not closing their name or the name of the centre the observation was taking place at. The use of a first initial of their name is best. To respect the privacy of the families it is up to the practitioner to ensure that the information remains confidential. This information must not be used to harm or embarrass a child or their family.
According to Smith (2009) “information collected can be misused, causing embarrassment and resistance to future observations” (p. 47. ). “It is essential that we do not disclose confidential details to anyone who does not need to know about hem” (Beaver et al, 2008, p. 69. ). All confidential information must be stored in a safe place. Any written or printed documents should be kept in a locked filing cabinet or shredded if no longer needed. All information stored on a computer must be password protected.
Beaver et al (2008) states “settings that hold information about individuals are expected to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998″ (p. 88. ). It is important that a practitioner follows the policies and procedures which are in place in each centre as they are there to provide protection for everyone involved in the centre. The purpose of policies and procedures in an Early Childhood Setting are to set a clear protocol of action and framework for our responsibilities and legal duties in relation to each child’s welfare” (Beaver et al, 2008, p. 222. ).
When managing sensitive information through observations, it is crucial for practitioners to be aware of any ethical and legal responsibilities to protect the privacy of individuals and families. If through the observations there is any cause for concern relating to a child’s progress or well-being, it is important to report these findings by following the centers procedures (Beaver et al, 2008). As stated in Beaver et al (2008) “early intervention can often make a difference to how a child with an impairment continues to progress in their development” (p. 71 . ).
It is of great value to share the findings of the observation with parents/caregivers/Hannah and other practitioners. Then they are aware of what stage of development and learning the child is at. Other practitioners who play a part in the child’s learning are able to plan experiences to suit that child’s individual needs so their learning can grow (Beaver et al, 2008). Observations are an important part of interpreting a child’s current stage of his helps to gather important information to make assessments about a child’s progress in relation to the developmental milestones (Beaver et al, 2008).
They are also used to assess a child’s strengths and weaknesses, health, for example, a rash or runny nose, support their routines and record their learning. Through observations you get to know the child better, you can monitor any concerns that may already have been raised, learn of the child’s individual needs and interests, and identify links between circumstances and behaviors and provide appropriate activities to promote development. (Beaver et al, 2008). Observations are to help “identify any particular difficulties or individual needs a child may have” (Beaver et al, 2008, app. . An observation helps to provide the information needed to improve and extend the child’s developmental needs in learning, with this information it can be assessed what the child has achieved and then plan for the next stage of development and learning experiences (Beaver et al, 2008). Writing quality stories in the children’s profile books will clearly show families how we are going to further develop these skills acquired. By fostering a good trusting relationship with parents/Hannah the recantation is able to learn of the child’s interests and habits they may have.
It is important that we respect the uniqueness of each family and strive to learn about their culture, structure, lifestyle, customs, language and beliefs. By showing respect for others and respect for cultural values you are gaining the trust and respect of families and that gives them a sense of belonging and inclusion. (Beaver et al, 2008). “Everyone who works with children is very influential in the formation of their attitudes and values. Children will take their cue from adult responses, and it is Hereford important that staff take seriously all issues of equality’ (Beaver et al, 2008, p. 7. ). When partaking in an observation it is important that you are objective. This will prevent “bias, stereotyping, labeling children, Jumping to conclusions and relying on personal view’ (Beaver et al, 2008, p. 68. ). All children are different individuals who develop and learn in their own time and in their own pace. “Children have different experiences at different times and so they develop at different rates” (Beaver et al, 2008, p. 37. ). Part of objective observation is trying not to put your own assumptions n children’s responses.
Always ensure the vocabulary used is not bias, cultural or gender related and keep in mind that cultural differences and customs may affect children’s responses and behaviors, for example, some children made by helping decorate a Christmas tree in the preschool and another child is not allowed to partake as this is against their custom, that child may be feeling left out. (Beaver et al, 2008). Having good two-way communication with families is important as you are able to share information regarding the child. It is important to build positive, trusting relationships with parents/Hannah.