Child Observation Essay

Words: 921
Pages: 4

This reflective essay is based around a 20-minute child observation that I undertook in a preschool setting. Throughout the essay I will explain why observation is necessary in Social Work practice and its aims and limitations. I will also explain how theoretical approaches can give an understanding of development throughout the life stages and describe how some of child X’s behaviour can be explained by these theories.

Observation is an essential tool in Social Work practice. It can seem simple and every day on the surface but it’s actually quite complex (Fawcett, 2009), once theory is applied and we find out why somebody behaves the way they do it changes the dynamic of simply watching a child to truly understanding them. Observation gives
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He was outside and there were around 7 other children and 2 keyworkers present at the time. Child X displayed characteristics from the pre operational stage which lasts from age 2 to age 7, this is the second stage of Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. During the pre-operational stage, the way children process thoughts is still developing (Berk, 1991). The child seemed to be egocentric when it came to playing, child X showed this by not interacting with other children, he only played by himself and when another boy decided to play next to him with the toys child X was playing with, he pushed him out of the way without hesitation. This indicates that child X cannot understand the world from other perspectives, he is the only person that matters. This view is challenged by Martin Hughes, who argued that the reason children failed at tasks set by Piaget was because they did not understand the task and not because they couldn’t see other perspectives (Tizard & Hughes, 2002). This suggests that the work Piaget carried out was bias towards the child failing at a task, if a task is not explained properly and they do not understand it doesn’t mean they can’t do it, it just means they will struggle to comprehend the task