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For this report, I observed the children in “kids’ zone” at my church. It is a beautiful Sunday morning, just after the parents had dropped the kids off for check-in. The class had about fifteen children, which were of different race and age group. Majority of the kids were about 8 years old. This is a short report of subject A intermingling with adults and other individuals within the setting.
Subject A begins to play at the table in the corner and pretends to be the Hulk and says ‘Hulk smash’ to himself. Subject A appears to be searching for something and pulls out a hulk costume from his backpack and he proceeds to put the costume on himself inside out, he then looks under his arms. I interrupt subject A and ask him what he is looking for. He does not respond; he finds the large checker pieces in the corner and stacks them up so that he can pretend to be the Hulk and knock them down. After he’s finished playing with them, he then takes the checker pieces and places it back in the correct place. Subject A then goes to draw on the chalk board with another child and one of the teachers. He saw the teacher teaching subject B how to draw a star on the chalk board. Subject A then becomes agitated due to his inability to correctly draw the star. He then asks the teacher to show him how to draw it she tells his starting from the bottom up to the top. Then back down again to make a triangle. Once you have the triangle draw a line upward then across and finally back down again. He then sits on the floor with his legs crossed, wiggles his bottom and proceeds to practice drawing stars exactly the way the teacher told him to even repeat the instructions the teacher gave him. Subject A then jumps up with excitement when he finally draws the star correctly and goes to show the teacher and lights up with joy when she acknowledges his artwork. Subject A begins to play with three other children throwing large die around the room attempting to hit each other with the die. After being scolded by one of the teachers for throwing dice at each other, subject A sighs and throws the die onto the floor with force, after throwing the dice he crosses his arms and frowns at the ground with his eyes towards the floor. From the corner of his eye he looks around, and slowly looks up again he notices me looking at him. He begins to smile and takes the dice from the floor and apologizes to the teacher. He now looks up at subject B walking towards the constructive area and walks after him. As he walks towards the constructive area with his hands swinging from left to right and proceeds to sit on his knees and grabs onto a toy car with his left hand and says ‘look I have a blue car, what color do you have?’. Subject B responds by saying ‘my car is purple; I have this one at home’ and subject A nods his head up and down. Subject A suddenly jumps up and runs towards the quiet area and begins spinning three times with his hands swinging up and down, he falls onto his knees whilst laughing and says, ‘wow I’m dizzy’. He jumps right up with his hands in the air and continues spinning round. He catches his breath and places his hands onto his head whilst attempting to sit back on the floor and says, ‘woo woo’. He moves his head round repeatedly but this time in slow motion with his eyes closed. After two full minutes he stands up and chooses another table activity. Now subject A proceeds to the mathematic table which contains number blocks. Subject A begins building a pyramid with the number blocks when subject B comes over and asks to help. Subject A then pulls the seat out for subject B to sit and they both begin to play with the number blocks. Subject A becomes bored and puts both of his legs on top of the table he then places both hands at the sides of the chair and begins to rock himself in the chair.
Subject A was included as the socially active child in this situation of surveillance. The social, personal and emotional development can be identified through observing the behavior, responses, and interaction with the other children within the environment. I would describe subject A to be going through various stages of developmental encounters and learning twists. In my observation Jean Piaget suggests four types of stages for cognitive development that would specifically be looking at the preoperational stage. Within this stage Piaget speaks about the children of this age group that can analyze figuratively.
In the first area of observation at the table in the corner, for when subject A is playing with the checkers with the Hulk uniform on. Subject A seems to show a general awareness of the nature of building and its’ connection to destruction as well as his interest in drawing. This would symbolize that he might have an interest to work within a construction field. This kind of imaginative play could perhaps influence their occupation as they grow older. The next area of observation was at the chalk board; In this area subject A faces his first interaction with subject B who in this instance appears to be more advanced, he attempts to correct and teach subject A the correct way of drawing the star through active learning. Jean Piaget relates cognitive, moral, and emotional development. In his opinion, cognitive and emotional development show parallel, courses of development, with cognition providing the structure and emotion the energy of development. Just as children go through stages of cognitive development, they likewise display emotional development and understanding new emotional expressions and experiences which are characteristics of different levels of development. Although my or the teachers presence might have caused a bias in the child’s natural behavior, I was able to see his response to his reaction as he threw the die aggressively in frustration and when he notices the presence of an adult he quickly says sorry and smiled.
Vygotsky suggested that social interaction within cognitive development would develop while socializing first. This means that most individuals would look to see how parents behavior are towards things, watching the way they speak and then they would try to imitate them just as subject A imitates conversational skills through discussing the toy cars they are playing with and identify the colors of the car.
Play and playfulness is categorized into three key areas, imagination and creativity, playful exploration, problem solving and dizzy play. Dizzy play consists of rough play, tumbling humor and language play such as seen with subject A as he spins around saying ‘woo’ and announcing ‘wow I’m dizzy’ expressing pure joy and a burst of physical energy release.
When playing with the number blocks subject A is confronted by subject B, in this scenario subject B expresses a negative action by snatching from subject A in an aggressive manner. Subject A handles this situation in a very emotionally respectful manner, he quotes ‘sharing is caring’ which immediately diffuses a potential clash and encourages subject B to return the blocks. This was an advanced development of empathy within subject A which usually begins to develop as toddlers where the concept of ‘I’ and ‘me’ begins. Subject A shows the understanding of not only his own but the emotional needs of those around him
In this observation I mainly focused on what subject A was able to do rather than what he couldn’t do. Vygotsky includes in his theory about emphasis children’s capability and the partnership between the child and adult as the same between me and subject A. Within this observation subject A has demonstrated many skills as he becomes active to the use of his body movement whilst playing, he interacts with the environmental materials and people around him. Subject A communicates as he shares his thoughts and information through playing with subject B. He communicated verbally with some simple sentences. He shows excitement and having fun while playing with the different areas. Subject A absorbed himself, concentrated and thought about what activities he involved himself with. Interacting was the main skill developed by subject A as he formed this action a couple times during the observation.
My observation was thorough and well, and through watching small emotional signs and reactions to different scenarios I was able to understand through a more practical approach about the emotional development of a child at play he interacts with children of different stages of development themselves.
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