Assessment of The Development Process of Children

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6 pages /

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6 pages /

2795 words

Downloads: 33

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Physical Development
  3. Cognitive Development
  4. Emotional Development
  5. Social Development
  6. Conclusion


My observation of children took place at two different locations, the Holland College Child Development Centre, which is located on the corner of Cumberland and Grafton and an in-home daycare located on Centennial Drive in Charlottetown. At the Child Development Centre there were about 14 children in the area that I was observing, half were boys and half girls. They were between the ages of two and five.

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I went to this centre twice to observe, the first time was October 15 at 8:00 a.m. for two hours and the second date was October 18 at 3:00 p.m. for two hours. For my last two hours of observation I went to an in-home daycare on October 21 at 2:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.. During this time there was another in-home babysitter with the children visiting from across the street. In total there were nine girls ranging from one and a half to five years of age.

Physical Development

Physical development is "the genetic foundations of development, the physical growth of all of the components of the body, their functioning and care"(Rice 586). During my observation I looked at five aspects of physical development, they were: physical growth, motor development, bladder/bowel control, nutrition, and sleep. When observing that children at the Child Development Centre and the in-home daycare I found that the boys and girls of the same age were about the same size, but there were are height differences between the different ages.

The difference between the ages is due to the rapid growth spurts that occur though out early childhood. As stated in the text children tend to follow the cephalocaudal principle, they grow from the head to the feet. This was noticeable with the children that I observed and I also noticed this with my own daughter because I always need to buy shirts that have a large neck opening so her head can fit through.

Motor development of the children varied greatly, this is mainly due to the overall physical maturation of the skeletal and neuromuscular development. At the in-home daycare a little girl about one cannot walk alone while another girl the same age is very agile on her feet and has a lot of coordination. This difference is most likely due to the neurons of the girl not being myelinated of the little girl who can't walk. Myelinization is "the process by which neurons become coated with an insulation fatty substance called myelin," this "helps the neurons to transmit nerve impulses faster and more efficiently" (Rice 113).

This myelinization also plays a role with potty training. If the neurons are myelinated the sensation of urinating and a bowel movement can be sensed faster so the child knows when they must go to the bathroom. During the observation I noticed that all the children above three years old in the home daycare were potty trained. I did not get any numbers from the Holland College daycare.

Both places that I observed at they had a snack time. This is very important for the children to get the energy and nutrition they need. Both places provided a healthful snack, at the in-home daycare the afternoon snack was apple slices, trail mix, and a cup of milk. The Holland College Centre had a cookie and a cup of juice in the morning of my first observation and some fruit and a cup of milk on the afternoon that I went. The two places also had a scheduled nap time. This is very important since sleep is needed for the children's brain to properly process and learn new information.

Cognitive Development

Cognitive development is "all the changes in the intellectual processes of thinking, learning, remembering, judging, problem solving, and communicating"(Rice 580). I looked at the thinking, remembering, problem solving and communicating intellectual processes in my observation of the children. Most of the issues that I will present in this section of the report are related to the preoperational stage of the Piagetian perspective. At this stage "children acquire language and learn that they can manipulate these symbols that represent the environment" (Rice 35).

Jean Piaget was a Swiss developmental psychologist that outlined the "four stages of cognitive development: the sensorimotor stage (birth to 2 years), the preoperational stage (2 to 7 years), the concrete operational stage (7 to 11 years) and the formal operational stage (11 years and up)" (Rice 160).

First I noticed that children exhibit abstract thinking, which is when a child is not able to understand time, money, distance, right or left, etc. I observed this type of thinking when I was at the Child Development Centre. There were two girls and two boys in a corner with a Holland College student. The student was asking the children want their favourite month was, all the children replied with a holiday not an actual month.

I also see this happening with my daughter, I will ask her when her bedtime is and she will say "30 o'clock" when it is really at 9:00. Children also tend to use static thought, this is when a child thinks of things in life as separate, stories tend not to flow together. There was a boy at the Child Development Centre that was telling a story about his weekend. He told the student that he went to Cape Breton for the week end and went to Magic Mountain. He was getting two separate vacations mixed into one.

Children learn in many different ways, both places that I visited had a lot of stimulating materials and activities to learn from. One little girl at the children's development centre sat with me and we played with a foam puzzle that had the shape of an object and word under neath it. We had to match the shape with the word, I found that this four-year-old girl quickly learned what pieces went together. She knew her ABC's which helped her in matching the two pieces.

At the in-home daycare the children were playing with blocks, a 2-year-old girl was trying to build a tower but it kept falling over by about the 5th block, a 3-year-old girl went over to show her how she had to line the blocks up straight and the two of them built a tower that was 10 blocks tall. When the older child helped the younger child this reflected Vygotsky's concept of the zone of proximal development. "The zone is the distance between the child's actual development level reached through individual problem solving, and the higher level of potential development level reached through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers" (Rice 167).

During my observation I took note of how the children memorized information. At the in-home daycare there was a visiting group of children from across the street. The children had all met before, they usually get together twice a week for the last two weeks. The majority of the children of each group did not recall the other children's names. This is due to the short term memory storage, "short term memory ability increases during childhood"(Rice 171). This explains why the older (the four and five year olds) children could remember the names of the children while the two and three year olds could not.

Problem solving of children may be interrupted due to irreversibility and chaining. Irreversibility occurs when a child's "failure to recognize that an operation can go both ways" (Rice 584) and chaining happens when a child is sorting multiple characteristics of an object but gets the information confused and is not able to do it.

I noticed that irreversibility occurred with some of the younger children at the in-home daycare when they went outside to play. The young children found it very difficult to put on their shoes and needed help but when they came in from playing all the children could take off their shoes by themselves. At the Child Development Centre I asked a little girl about three years old if she could sort the blocks into piles that were all the same colour. She was able to do this but was unable to sort the blocks when I asked her to put the large yellow blocks into a pile.

Communicating was very noticeable between the children at both places. There was a large variation of children's ability to verbally communicate. At the Child Development Centre a little boy about two years old could not verbally communicate very well. He was using only one word if he wanted something. At the in-home daycare my daughter who is also two years old uses five to seven word sentences to tell her caregiver what she wanted. I feel that my daughter is able to verbally communicate better then the little boy due to the learning theory.

My daughter is constantly being spoken and read to since she is usually surrounded by adults, she lives with her grandparents and me and visits her father and stepmother two nights a week. Due to her living situation I feel she gets a lot of one-on-one attention, which enables her to imitate, condition, associate, and reinforce her verbal communication skills. Usually around this age of two and a half, children use 3-5 word sentences, that have a subject and predicate and have fewer grammatical errors.

Emotional Development

Emotional development is "the development of attachment, trust, love, feelings, temperament, concept of self, autonomy, and emotional disturbances" (Rice 580). Throughout my observations I took note of the aspects of trust, feelings, temperament, concept of self and autonomy among the children.

During my first visit to the Child Development Centre I noticed that all the children were happy to be there and were very comfortable with their parent leaving. This could mean that the children felt that their caregiver met their needs of sustenance, protection, affection, and comfort. By meeting these needs for the children the caregivers were trusted by the children. I noticed that all the caregivers at both locations were very affectionate toward the children. It is very important for the children to have a sense of trust so they know that they are loved.

Another aspect I looked at was the feelings of the children. At the in-home daycare I noticed that the children were very curious of each other (the visitors versus the regulars), but at the Child Development Centre the children did not notice me for the first hour of my visit. Another feeling that I noticed the children exhibited was excitement when the caregivers at the in-home daycare asked the children if they wanted to go outside to play, they all clapped and smiled and made exciting noises like "yippy." The development of emotions emerges with age, and I found that the children I observed displayed many different emotions. When the children were being read to, they would make different facial expressions depended on what was happening in the story.

Out of all the children that I observed each of them had their own personality and temperament. There were little girls at the Child Development Centre that were very outgoing and were very comfortable to play with me, while there were some children that enjoyed playing by themselves and were timid of me when I said hello.

"By three years of age, personal characteristics are defined in childlike terms, and are usually positive and exaggerated" (Rice 217). Throughout my observation I realized that this statement was true. I asked several children between the ages of 4 and five at both location what they wanted to be when they grew up. I had many different answers ranging from a firefighter, to an astronaut, to a veterinarian, to a hockey player. The different types of answers to this question shows how at this age their concept of self is not exactly what will be reality.

Autonomy is very important in the development of children, they need to explore, and be able to realize that they can do things for themselves. At the in-home daycare I noticed my daughter wanting to do things for herself, I also see this at home. She would not let anyone help her put her jacket on when they went outside, even though it took her about 5 minutes. I find that when I do help her with a situation like putting her socks on she always starts from the beginning and gets very upset with me. If a child is not "permitted to do some things (with reasonable limits), they develop a sense of shame and doubt about their abilities" (Rice 215).

Social Development

Social development is "the socialization process, moral development, and relationships with peers, family, and at work" (Rice 587). I took note of the form of discipline used at the two different locations, peer relationships, gender roles, and gender stereotypes.

During my observation at the Child Development Centre I did not see any children misbehaving therefore I didn't see how they are disciplined. I did ask one of the students about their discipline police and she said that they us time-outs and explain to the children why they are being put on a time-out.

At the in-home daycare the children are also put on time-outs when they are misbehaving. When I was there a two and a half year old girl was acting up by taking the toys from other children, she was doing this in a very forceful way so the caregiver told her she was on a time-out. The little had to sit by herself until see was ready to play fair, within two minutes she had said sorrily and was ready to play again. The use of discipline is important because it fosters a sense of self-control in the children that will stay with them throughout life.

Peer relationships were clearly noticeable between the children at both childcare locations, although the younger children at both locations did not interact with one another very much, even though they were playing along side one another. The text states that between the ages of 2 and 7 children seek to play with children regardless of sex, but at the Child Development Centre the children grouped by sex except for one group that was being read to. At the in-home daycare the older girls were playing together at a mini-kitchen. Even though there were only girls at the daycare they all seemed be involved in the traditional female activities like making super and cleaning, I doubt if boys were present they would be playing with the group.

The girls playing with the mini-kitchen at the in-home daycare are an example of gender roles. The girls were all doing the traditional female activities. Another example of gender roles is how some of the girls at the Child Development Centre were carrying around baby dolls and soft plush toys, while a boy had a toy motorcycle. "Giving children gender-specific toys may have considerable influence on vocational choices. Such toys influence boys to be scientists, astronauts, or football players, and girls to be nurses, teachers, or cabin attendants" (Rice 268).

Gender stereotypes "are common concepts and assumed characteristics of what boys and girls, or men and women, are supposed to be like within the context of the culture in which they live" (Rice 269). I noticed that at the Child Development Centre the boys had short hair and were dresses in the typical boys colours like blue, red, black, green and the girls had longer hair with braids or barrettes, and were wearing dresses, skirts, frilly shirts, and pants with flowered embroidery, that were girl colours like pink, yellow, and baby blue. It is thought that girls do more domestic play but at the in-home daycare my daughter was playing with a race car track with another girl when they were bored with the mini-kitchen.

I also notice that my daughter is very interested in hockey. She and her imaginary friend play every night for the last week. These girls playing with the "boy toys" are overcoming the traditional stereotypes which will hopefully in the future eliminate most of these gender stereotypes.

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In conclusion I found that the children at both locations of my observation were all going through developmental changes. Wether it was physical, cognitive, emotional, or social. I found that each child is different when they are experiencing developmental change and as an adult, caregiver, or teacher we all must be aware of the change that are occurring so we can make the children as comfortable as possible throughout these years of growth and change.

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Assessment of the Development Process of Children. (2019, February 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 1, 2023, from
“Assessment of the Development Process of Children.” GradesFixer, 12 Feb. 2019,
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