Toddler Learning and Development

 

ECED 326 – Infant/Toddler Care and Education
Observation 2 – Toddler Learning and Development

Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to observe toddlers in order to understand
more about their learning and development, especially in the areas of motor skills and
cognition.
Course Learning Objectives addressed in this assignment:
CLO#3 – Observe, document and reflect on infant and toddler play, cognition and
movement to plan for care and learning.
CLO#4 – Evaluate infant and toddler curriculum and environments.
Preparation
1. Obtain permission from a parent, a family childcare home, an infant/toddler center
or other facility to observe a toddler. Plan for a 2-3 hour visit or two shorter visits.
2. Complete the readings for Week Five:
• Chapter – 6 Perception in Gonzalez-Mena (2015
• Chapter – 7 Motor Skills in Gonzalez-Mena (2015
• Chapter – 8 Cognition in Gonzalez-Mena (2015)
• Review – Cognitive Development and Perceptual and Motor Development in
California Department of Education (2009). California Infant/Toddler Learning
and Development Foundations. CDE Press. ISBN 978-0-8011-1693-3. Available
Online: https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/documents/itfoundations2009.pdf
• Review – Chapter 5: Cognitive Development and Chapter 6: Perceptual/Motor
Development in California Department of Education (2012). California
Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Frameworks. CDE Press. ISBN: 978-0-
8011-1723-7. Retrieved on March 20, 2015
from https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/documents/itcurriculumframework.pdf
3. Review the appropriate age and level for your observation in Appendix B –
Environmental Chart of (Gonzalez-Mena, 2015)
Observation Instructions
1. You are going to practice objective focused observation again. But this time your
focus is on the child’s physical and cognitive development. You will observe the
child’s actions and plan for their learning
2. When entering the setting, take time to get comfortable and quietly observe for a
few minutes. Sit on the floor or a low chair. Do not attempt to interact or get
involved in the situation. If the child approaches you, continue to be as objective in
your observations as possible. You are observing one child’s actions and behaviors.
Whatever is happening is what you observe.
3. You will be making a running record. Follow the guidelines on pp. 9-11 of (EHNRC.
2013). Take objective, accurate notes, writing down only what you see and hear, for
six separate 20-minute periods. Do not try to interpret actions or behaviors; just
write down what you observe. Taking the time in between the 20-minute periods to
catch up on your notes. Two 20-minute periods should be devoted to physical
development, and two 20-minute periods should be devoted to cognitive
development, and two 20-minute periods should be devoted perception. You can do
this in two sessions in you prefer.
4. As soon as possible after the observation, type up your notes in narrative form.
Instructions, Format and Organization
Background Information
List name, address, contact person and contact information for center. Provide background
and/or contextual information.
Observation
This section will contain your observation notes in narrative form. No interpretation, just
your notes in full sentences. Label each 20-minute session with the time and context (place,
activity)
Interpretation
Write this section based on the questions in the Interpretation section, above. Type the
questions as subheadings and write your answers underneath. Use in text citations from
(Gonzalez-Mena, 2015) and other course materials.
This section should be two to four (2-4) pages. Write about your experience in objective
and accurate observation of a toddler. In this section you will connect the text and readings
to your experience. Answer the questions in the following section:
Sensory Perception
This part of the observation should be done outdoors. How do you see the child using her
senses? Be specific about how the child responded to sensory information and which
senses the child used and how. Note anything in the environment that hindered or
promoted the child’s sensory perception development. Use the chart 6.2 in Chapter 6
(Gonzalez-Mena, 2015) to analyze the environment for promotion of sensory perception.
Make suggestions in environment, materials and/or interactions that would further
promote the development of this child’s sensory perception.
Motor Skills/Physical Development
Describe in detail your interpretation of the child’s motor skill development. Use the charts
in Chapter 7 (Gonzalez-Mena, 2015). What is the child able to do? What is the child striving
to do? What kinds of physical activity did the child engage in? Note anything in the
environment that hindered or promoted the child’s motor skills and physical development.
Make suggestions in environment, materials and/or interactions that would further
promote this child’s physical development.
Cognitive Development
How would you describe the child’s cognitive development in Piagetian terms? Describe
the child’s “zone of proximal development” and ways in which you witnessed cultural,
social or environmental influences in the child’s development. What did you learn about
the child’s problem-solving abilities? What do you think the child learned? Note anything in
the environment that hindered or promoted the child’s cognitive development. Refer to
Chapter 8 (Gonzalez-Mena, 2015). Make suggestions in environment, materials and/or
interactions that would further promote this child’s physical development.
Reflection
Answer, in paragraph form, two of the four prompts listed below.
Use two of the following prompts to write a reflection on this project.
The most important thing I’ve learned through this investigation is…
My thinking about infant and toddler development and learning have changed in the following
ways:
This investigation caused me to wonder about….
My thinking about infant and toddler environments have changed in the following ways….
From the CompSAT The Portfolio Project web page. Retrieved on March 20, 2015
from https://ececompsat.org/portfolio-protocol.html
References
Write out all references used (at least 4) in APA format, on a separate page.
Format: Use APA Format for your ESSAY/RESEARCH PAPER/custom written DISSERTATION. If you need a refresher in APA format, visit the
Online Writing Center at https://my.brandman.edu/student/OWMC/Pages/default.aspx
link.
Additionally, you may want to view the APA 6th edition video on
YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pbUoNa5tyY&feature=bf_next&list=PL3BC
E19F47DE0933A&index=2, or visit the Online Writing Laboratory at Purdue
at https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/.

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