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This essay explains the meaning and function of classroom observation in studying child development. The essay also presents the actual report of a classroom observation.
Meaningful experiences in early childhood education can positively shape children's development. With teacher facilitation, authentic child-centered early art education can enrich young students' learning, encourage positive attitudes toward other people, and more closely follow practices of the people around them in the contemporary world. However, art for young students often takes many diversified approaches and emphasizing questionable practices.
Observation is a part of meaningful and authentic early childhood art education. Observation enriches students' experiences with their environment, gives them reasons to study, interact with other children and follows the practices of their adult models. They develop strategies and skills to represent objects in their environment. Finally, adults play a critical role in young students' development by engaging in sensitive and critical dialogue.
Most of the children in the class were three years old, but there was one five year old. The preschool children were seemed very shy and they did not seem like they were very sociable. The children seemed to be experiencing a little bit of stranger anxiety. The teacher said the children often would cry and become uneasy whenever they meet a stranger. This can also be considered as signs of separation anxiety. The boys in the class were very natural and the girls seemed to be introverted and preserve. This would agree with the theories that boys will be inclined to be more sociable, and girls will be more reserved. In the preschool class, the teacher often has puppet shows and the children love it. One child was sitting at the table having a conversation with a stuffed beaver. According to a theory called animistic thinking, children believe that inanimate objects are alive. Another form of animistic thinking would be when the teacher told a story about leprechaun, when the teacher asked where leprechauns lived, one child answered. “Leprechauns live in the grass and run around from tree to tree, they are itsy bitsy and very hard to see.” These children think that these living things were real, but they just could not see them. However, the fun with the leprechauns had just begun. To test the children’s belief in the unrealistic, the teacher asked the children make little pots, and then she tell all of the kids that if they were excellent, the leprechaun would leave them gold in their pot. While these kids were eating their snacks, the teacher left and put gold candy in their pots, and then waited for their reactions and comments when they came back to see what had happened. One child soared around and shouted that “he was here, he was here,” and another child was looking around the room trying to find the leprechaun. Overall, Most of the children have beliefs based on what they sensed to be true, rather than on what would be logic or rational. Language development between the three-year-old children, and the five-year-old child was amazing. There were some grammatical morpheme problems that were noticed during the observation at the preschool. The children were very good with sentence structure and words. However, they struggled with prepositions, suffixes and prefixes. For example, “he sitted down on me,” “she hitted me with the beaver,” the children are learning that they need to ass the “ed” to the end of some words, but they do not know when it is and when it is not appropriate to do it yet. Children are good in imitation at the preschool. The teacher was their adult model. Imitation is a great way for the children to learn about the world, and is often a sociable test to see how far that they can stretch the rules.