Essay on Child Development Observation

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In this assignment I am going to describe a child observation that I have done in a nursery for twenty minutes in a play setting. I will explain the strengths and weaknesses of naturalistic observation through the key developmental milestones based in Mary Sheridan (2005) check-list and provide a theoretical explanation to support the naturalistic observation.

First of all I would like to explain why the child observation is important for social workers. It is important because it focus on the problems that arise when a child‘s situation is not taken seriously and consequently have harsh consequences for both worker and child (Climbié Report, 2002). Observation is something that leads to formation of hypotheses and gives new insights
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At this stage, the child’s thinking changes over time.

The observation made me reflect and discover the child’s interests, I could assess his developmental levels and I have observed what strategies were being used to attain their goals. After the observation I reflected upon it and realised that I have learned a lot about their personalities and skills that they need to practice.

Secondly, it is important to consider the strengths of naturalistic observation as a method. This was identified when the child was consistently moving and doing different activities that allowed me to understand how he communicates with other children, how he behaves and what he learns from others. In the play setting the child was able to develop his thinking and according to the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (DOH, 2000) through social relationships, the child was encouraged to express his feelings, emotions, which was achieved by the setting creating an enjoyment environment.

Cognitive developments allow the child to begin to understand and interact with the environment and see things from the carer’s point of view, adjusting behaviours accordingly and understanding that the carer has goals and plans, therefore, and the relationship is seen as partnership. Cognitive skills are necessary in adapting to the environment. As Hendey and Kloep (2002)
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