Sunday, June 20, 2010

Child Observation- Time Sample



The fifth observation I undertook was time sample. Time samples enable the observer to gather information over a period of time (Tessoni et al 2002). In this time sample I wanted to observe what the child (A.L) does during the first thirty minutes of entering the centre. I recorded her general activity during five-minute intervals.

Observation – Time Sample



Time
Interaction
Social group
Activity
Comments
2.02pm
All talking. A.L to staff member ‘I have no h/w today’.
C.H, A.L, A.W and L.G
They arrive together in centre bus from school
All the children hang up coats and bag on hooks near door.
2.07pm
A.L is singing
A.L, A.W and L.G
Reading books until snack is ready
A.L and A.W sharing a book to read.
2.12pm
C.H-A.W ‘what is in the sandwiches’? A.W-C.H ‘jam, maybe strawberries’.
C.H, A.L, A.W and L.G
Snack Time
All children are eating
2.17pm
L.G, A.W & A.L ask supervisor for drink.
L.G, A.W and A.L
Still eating
A.L swinging on chair and eating slowly
2.22pm
L.G-A.W& A.L ‘you can be nurses. A.W-L.G ‘no we are doctors’.
L.G, A.W and A.L
In playroom, playing doctors and nurses

2.27pm
A.L-A.W ‘you have to give me an injection cause you are the doctor’.
A.L and A.W
In playroom playing doctors and nurses. A.L is nurse and A.W is doctor
L.G has left playroom
2.32pm
A.L-A.W ‘I want to go draw
A.L and A.W
Put away doctor and nurses toys.
A.L and A.W go to other room to colour.

The fifth observation I undertook was a time sample. I wanted to investigate A.L’s activity immediately when she enters the centre. A.L arrives at the centre talking to the other children – similarly to event sample and narrative she is interacting well with the other children. She tells the staff member almost immediately that she has no homework and immediately goes to play. A.L shows that she has learnt from previous experiences. She rationalises that she can go play, as she has no homework to do. This is something she has learnt over time from experiences (Eysenck 2001). She engages in a game of role-play with other children. Play is extremely important in enabling child learning. Vgotsky (1976 p552) argues, “In play, the child functions above his average age, above his usual everyday behaviour, in play he is head high above himself”. In other words play allows a child to perform beyond his/her normal capabilities. Eysenck (2001) argues a key reason for this is children while they are playing normally make use of toys from their own culture. In this case A.L, A.W and L.G were using a doctor’s bag with toy stethoscopes and injections. A.L was role-playing a doctor and a nurse. These are both vital occupations in Western Society. A.L was also aware that a doctor is supposed to give injections as she says to A.W ‘you have to give me the injection, because you are the doctor’. This would imply that A.L is aware of the role of a doctor or has heard from someone else that a doctor gives injections and has remembered this knowledge. As this type of role-play aids children’s knowledge I would recommend that more cultural toys and occupational toys be available in the centre.

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