Child Observation Report Essay

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Recently, I went to The Happy School, a preschool in my hometown of Smallville, California, to pass the morning with the students there. In the time I spent there, the children, ages 3 to 5, engaged in unstructured play, and sat in a circle for calendar time and reading aloud. The preschool is primarily child-centered in terms of its organization, meaning it incorporates a lot of child directed activity, and less structured, or adult directed, learning (Berk, 2008). I watched the group of about twenty children with the intention of studying them as a whole, but I found myself compelled to watch two children in particular, Addison and Jack, because they displayed particularly intriguing behavior. (p187) THESIS, what behavior, theories…show more content…
During these few minutes, Addison demonstrated some of the cognitive, emotional and social challenges typical to people in her developmental stage. For example, Addison had trouble inhibiting her impulses to move and talk to other children during story time. However, Addison did make an effort to inhibit these urges, an ability made possible by the growth of her cerebral cortex (Berk, 2008). Addison verbally coached herself as she tried to conform to the requested behavior, an action that Vygotsky would categorize as private speech (Berk, 2008). Additionally, Addison’s effective inhibition could be attributed to what Barbara Rangoff called guided participation, or “shared endeavors between more expert and less expert participants” (Berk, 2008). Engaging in the activities of the class and being guided and supported by their teacher helped Addison, and the rest of her classmates, remain engaged. EFFORTFUL CONTROL Also, Addison’s actions when she pulled her classmates hair demonstrate the difference between instrumental and hostile aggression and provide some insight into her moral development. When she tugged on her classmate’s hair, it seemed that she did this to gain her friend's attention, not to hurt her. Because her action had a clear end, and lacked malignant intent, it can be categorized as instrumental aggression (Smith, Cowie, & Blades, 1998). Furthermore, she showed some signs of remorse (scrunching her eyebrows and turning
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