Essay on Child Observation

Essay on Child Observation
This essay seeks to critically evaluate my role as a child observer. Drawing on two or more theories of child development, I will look at the main theoretical concept and critically evaluate in relation to my observation. First, I begin a brief description of the child I have observed and the setting in which the observation took place. Next I attempt to show my understanding of normal child development, and aspects that can disrupt ‘normal’ child development. Throughout the essay, I will critically examine and reflect on the process of undertaking my observation. And finally, issues of ethics and anti- oppressive practises will be discussed.
The child I have observed was three and half year’s old girl called Sara (not her real name), of African Caribbean background and English is the only language spoken at home. All three observations took place at the day-centre she attends. The day-care centre gave me permission to observe her, but not to interact and interfere with her educational activities. As this was my first observation, I was a bit anxious about how Sara might react about me watching her, and while her parents consented about the observations, Sara did not know that I am here to observe her; it is this scenario that made me uncomfortable. I was particularly more concerned about the ethical issues of not informing Sara about the observation. One element of anti-oppressive practice is to make sure that people’s rights are not violated. Social workers must put children’s needs first, and to respect their human rights, including rights to liberty, privacy and family life (Dalrymple and Burke, 1995: 57).
In common with anyone who is undertaking child observations, I was quite unsure where to start and how to conduct myself. I was anxious watching Sara in such an intimate way, and thought this could be intrusive to her personal space. For example; early in the observation, Sara was not talking and was mostly sitting quietly and I...