Provided by Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc.
"Making life better"
ASSIGNMENT # 1: NATURALISTIC OBSERVATION - Practice being a psychologist
1. Select a child or two to observe.
2. Observe his or her behavior for half an hour. TAKE NOTES!
Some people have a hard time picking a topic and prefer to go observe first and select a topic that strikes them as interesting. For example, you may see one child throw a ferocious temper tantrum and decide to focus on how the other children react. As I said, I would pick a topic first, but you don't have to be like me and it doesn't win you any extra points if you are!
DO NOT PUT THE CHILD'S NAME IN YOUR NOTES ANYWHERE! One of the most important ethical values a psychologist must have is trustworthiness. CONFIDENTIALITY is crucial to being a good psychologist and it is never too early to learn. Whatever you observe, whatever you learn about a person, no matter what their age, should be kept in strict confidence and only shared with people who have a need to know. Make up a name for the child, use "Child A" or simply a blank.
3. Write up a two to three page description of your observation. Include:
A brief example
When my observations began, Melissa was playing with the wooden blocks and had her back to Joy, who was looking at the duplos, but had not taken any out yet. She turned around and said, "I want to play with THOSE blocks" in a loud voice.
Melissa answered, "No, you doo-doo head," and hit Joy on the head with a wooden block. At this point, the teacher gently put her hand on Melissa's back and guided her to the time out chair saying, "We don't hit people, Melissa. Now you just sit here for a moment."
---- There would be a bunch more in here on your observations ---
In conclusion, in reviewing my results I found that young children DO sometimes engage in sharing without being prompted, as when Joy handed Melissa the duplos for the house she was building. Most of the time, though, the two children I observed in that age group either each played with their own things, one took what she wanted and the other gave in, a teacher prompted sharing, or they fought over possession, in that order.
Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc. -- P.O.Box 663, 314 Circle Dr., Fort Totten, ND 58335 Tel: (701) 351-2175 Fax: (800) 905 -2571
Email us at: Info@SpiritLakeConsulting.com
An Indian-owned business