Child Observation Example

Play is John’s Work

December 1, 2007
Assignment 2: Preschool Years
Play is John’s Work

Child’s Name:   John* Age:   4 years 7 months Site:   Sandy Hill Nursery School
*I do not believe in using a child’s real name for observation essays.   Although I may get marked down for this, I stand firm in my belief that it is not necessary to use a child’s real name.   Everything in this essay is based upon my observation of a single male child who is 4 years and 7 months old, but John is not his real name.

      Sandy Hill Nursery School in Solana Beach is very much in line with Jean Piaget’s and Lev Vygotsky’s child-centered approach and that children actively try to understand their world.   They should be free to play and explore with some guidance (Berger, 261).   At Sandy Hill, children are not told what to play or what they should be doing.   Instead, they have a choice of many different activities that they may want to participate in.   For instance, I observed the classroom on a rainy day.   Although it was still wet outside, the children were not forced to stay inside and do the art project of the day, which was painting leaves.   They could stay at the table painting leaves or they could go outside and play with the toy trucks if they wished.   They could even stay inside and read the books or play with the other toys in the classroom.   The children were not forced to all stay inside, sit at a table, and do the art project.   They were allowed to “explore” their surroundings and do as they wish.   This is the type of preschool that I observed.   On this particular day, I observed a boy named “John”.   John is 4 years 7 months and will be entering kindergarten next fall.   Throughout this paper, I will focus specifically on John and what he did for the day.   I will describe his physical and motor ability, I will take a look at his social and language ability, and also his cognitive ability.   At the end, I will tell you whether or not this child-centered...