Life-span Behaviour and Development

Observing Children
The task is a non-participant observation of videos of children playing OR verbal accounts from young people, selected from those available on the internet or published texts. There are banks of child observation clips linked to universities, usually of children in childcare settings (for instance, this one, of 177 clips to select from ranging from 4-7 minutes:

The assignment should summarise your observations and include the following:

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The child and the setting: a description of the child and the setting for each of the clips/extracts, or reflect on what is unknown about context

The child’s development: Select one or two of the areas of development listed in the Observing Children Pro Forma that are particularly relevant to the child/children/young person in a particular clip/extract and draw on your knowledge of milestones, the research literature, and social work theory. If it is not stated, offer your estimation of the child’s age and say on what you base this.

Reflection on the observation task and the relevance of human development for social work: Discuss your role as observer in direct (child) and indirect (i.e. video) observation and what you have learned about the process and its relevance to social work practice. (How) have you developed your observation, monitoring and recording skills in relation to child development and behaviour? What have you learned in your application of developmental theory? Draw on your reflections about the observation tasks and any class exercises, considering the potential impact and ethical issues raised by direct child observation.

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