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What can we learn form observing children?

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Child Observation What can we learn form observing children? What sort of knowledge can be gained that is applicable to our field of social work? These are the questions along with others I posed to my self before embarking on the observation it self. Fawcett describes the purpose of a child observation as: '...to develop professional competence in work with children and families...observation should help you understand children and their range of behaviour better, to reassess your own preconceptions on the subject' (Fawcett 1996, cited in 'The Frame work for Assessment of children in need...) Form my reading and information gathered in lectures I have learnt that the observation serves two main purposes. The first being, We learn from what is happening around us, this informs us of the consequences of actions. If we go on to examine this further we learn to examine form which behaviour; will result which outcome. This in relation to child observation and the observation within social work practice helps us to theorise an outcome to interaction between child and carer or environment. Secondly an observation lets us either confirm a hypothesis or informs us of new ideas that need to be explored by the hypothesis being disproved. "It answers specific questions"(Irwin. D. Bushnell. M.1980). Planning for the Child Observation / Process of Observation In planning for the observation I reflected on my past experiences. In examining these I sought to approach the observation with no preconceived ideas or assumptions about the child, the child's carers or the social situation of the child. ...read more.


Her reaction was to shout at k using words such as "bad" and "Stupid" after which she removed the child from the garden and placed k in the house. 2. The second key event was the duration of the second observation, which was only 14-15 minutes long. After speaking to parent A she stated that the only next opportunity to observe k would be the 18th of may, I saw this as a major obstacle as my evaluation will only be based on very little information. Evaluation of theoretical perspectives For this part of the report I will discuss relevant theoretical perspectives relating to k. Although I am aware of most theories are based on a euro-centric concept and may not always be applicable to children of other ethnic groups. I will start of with attachment theory and explore the child's attachment with his main carer. Bowlby (1958) applied the understanding of attachment to the mother and child he stated, "it is about a two way bond between child and main carer. Using Bowlby's 'internal working model' I can argue that 'k' is securely attached to his carer as he showed all the behaviour necessary such as capable he was capable to assert him self in relation to asking for food and drink which 'K' did on several occasion. 'K' viewed parent A as responsive as she was able to meet the needs for nutritional satisfaction. At no time through the course of the observation did 'K' seem to be powerless or helpless if he wanted a toy he had the ability to get it. ...read more.


In the second the behaviour was interpreted in the limited time span and in an environment I had no control over. Further the skills I felt that were invaluable along with the Anti-discriminatory, Anti-oppressive and non-judgemental approaches were. Recording skills, for the observation it self. Interpretation skills in the evaluation of the overall observation it self based the Anti-discriminatory, Anti-oppressive and non-judgemental interpretations of the actions and behaviours displayed by 'K'. I also utilised my skills in working along side the parent in setting up the observation, I empowered the parent by full involvement and allowing her to look at my notes, of the observation. Reflections on Learning In reflection I have learnt a child's development can differ form culture to culture, I have learnt that children react to situations differently according to their environment. A problem, which I encountered in observing the child, was that I paid a lot of attention to the individual child and little with his interactions with other children. Although I see this as a learning experience so from this I have learnt my weaknesses that I have sort to remedy. Conclusion Observation plays a vital role in assessment; only after I carried out the observation did this become so apparent. So much can be learnt form the interaction of the child and his or her environment, peers or family. This can then be the basis for making an informed decision relating to the specific child. I feel as if theories relating to children of dual heritage are limited and need to be researched further. ...read more.

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