Narrative Methods of Observation

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About this sample


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433 words

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433 words

Downloads: 256

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Table of contents

  1. Observation Essay Outline
  2. Narrative Methods of Observation
    Checklist and Tick Chart
    Importance of Accuracy
  3. Observation Essay Example

Observation Essay Outline

Narrative Methods of Observation

  • Definition and description of narrative methods
  • Advantages of narrative observations
  • Disadvantages of narrative observations

Checklist and Tick Chart

  • Explanation of checklist and tick chart methods
  • Advantages of checklist and tick chart observations
  • Disadvantages of checklist and tick chart observations

Importance of Accuracy

  • The significance of accurate observations and assessments
  • The potential consequences of inaccurate assessments for children's development
  • The impact on children and families when assessments are not precise

Observation Essay Example

This is a way of observation early years workers use. Narrative methods of observation are written methods that will describe what a child is doing or has done, for example, ' Sam is playing with building blocks'. He is using one block at a time to build a tower'. Narrative observations can also be called 'free description'. They may record what a child is doing over a few seconds or much longer. Photographs or film clips are sometimes used with a narrative observation. There are many advantages of a narrative, for example:

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  • It needs no preparation
  • It can be used to observe all areas of developments
  • It can be used to observe more than one are of development at once

However, there are also disadvantages such as:

  • It can be hard to write everything down quickly
  • The observer is likely to have to keep stopping, or to choose what to focus on
  • It can be hard to record accurately and without judgement

Checklist and Tick Chart:

This is another way to observe children. The checklist and tick chart are very similar and are simple ways of assessing children's skills. A list of statements, such as, 'Is able to put on coat', 'Is able to use spoon to feed', are prepared. The statement are normally based on milestones for children's development or outcomes from the early year’s curriculum. When the child is showing the skill, the observer puts a tick or writes a note. The advantages of checklist and tick charts are:

  • They are easy to fill in and can be completed fairly quickly
  • They can be repeated to see if a child has made progress
  • It keeps the observer focused on specific skills

The disadvantages are:

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  • The observers may come to different conclusions about whether a child has mastered a skill
  • Does not show how quickly a child managed a task or skill

The accuracy of information is very important. It is essential that observations and assessments are kept up to date and are accurate as decisions about how best to help a child will be based on them. If a child is assessed as progressing well but are actually not, will not gain the support they need, affecting them in their growth and development. As well as this, if a child is assessed as having difficulties, but they are not, then it could also affect their growth and development and cause them as well as families to become anxious. There are also problems when inaccurate assessments are made as there is danger the children will be given activities that are not suitable for them which could affect them in a bad way and could stop them making progress.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

Narrative Methods of Observation. (2019, March 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 27, 2023, from
“Narrative Methods of Observation.” GradesFixer, 27 Mar. 2019,
Narrative Methods of Observation. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 27 Sept. 2023].
Narrative Methods of Observation [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Mar 27 [cited 2023 Sept 27]. Available from:
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