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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Observing Children - 941 words

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.. nk logically and expand knowledge. They use reasoning rather than perceptions to justify their judgments. Their thinking is still limited, however, to concrete, tangible objects and familiar events.' (Anselmo and Franz, 1995, p. 11)According to Anselmo and Franz, 'Children advance in the following areas of language during the early school years (such as 6 1/2 years old): word derivation, noun and verb phrase use, use of varied sentence types, production of speech sounds, vocabulary growth, reflection on language use, and complexity of language. Appropriate adult assistance involves responding contingently, proving communication settings, and instructing.' (Anselmo and Franz, 1995, p.514) In contrast, 'Before the age of five, children are still using the basic sentence structure: agent-action-object-locative.

Consequently, they don't understand any sentences that transform the basic form into a more complex one, such as passive sentences ('The window was broken by the ball'). (Anselmo and Franz, 1995, p.501) According to the theory of Erikson, 'During the preschool years (approximately 3 to 5 years old), children are challenged to either take initiative or suffer the effects of guilt; during the school years (approximately 6 t 12 years old), they learn either industry or inferiority.' (Anselmo and Franz, 1995, p.427) In addition, 'preschool children have difficulty conceptualizing the inner, psychological needs of themselves and others. Around six years of age, that children overcome their egocentrism.' (Anselmo and Franz, 1995, p.439) Moreover, cooperation is an important behavior to develop in children. Working cooperatively on a project brings about favorable attitudes toward those in the group and that working competitively can encourage negative attitudes. Bronfenbrenner (1970) has argued that cooperation encourages an 'we' mental set, whereas competition encourages an 'I' mental set.' (Anselmo and Franz, 1995, p.441) I believe there is bias in my estimations of the children's performance and abilities because there are some sources in the article that are different from what I used

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In addition there are sources that I was unable to use in my study. A possible source may be the fact that the observation in the article took place in a playroom laboratory, rather than a home setting (which I used for my observation) where children feel more comfortable. Also, for my study I used only one pair of siblings instead of a total of 40 children (20 sibling pairs) as it was used in the article. The pair that I used was a mixed-sex pair, which had the girl as the older child. According to the article 'an equal number of boys, girls, same-sex and mixed-sex pairs were included. Half of the mixed-pairs had an older boy and half had a girl as the older child.' (Linda Musun-Miller, 1991, p.147) In addition, videotapes which were coded by using a 21-category coding system and the multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVAs) were performed in the study of the article.

As you understand, it was impossible for me to use the exactly same method on my charts (which include the same behavioral categories as in the article), so what I changed was the fact that I added an 'M' for more and an 'L' for less under the words 'boy' and 'girl' in order for my observations to be as precise as possible. Then I marked each behavior with a check. According to Fewell (1984), ' In order to develop a useful checklist, behaviors must be clearly defined and listed beforehand-the usefulness of the checklist depends on whether it includes all possible key behaviors.' (Ann E. Boehm, Richard A. Weinberg, 1997, p.33) Even though I used running records a videotape would help more because of, 'the impossibility of recording all of a subject's behaviors, due to the recorder's inability to write fast enough. The use of audiotape or videotape may solve these problems.' (Boehm and Weinberg, 1997, p.31) hypothesis was to determine the effects of maternal presence versus absence on sibling behavior.

For this study, 40 children (20 sibling pairs) and their mothers were selected, and they were observed interacting in a laboratory playroom for a total of 30 minutes. The age range of the children was from 4 to 9 years old. The mothers were asked to be present for half of that time and absent for the other half. Several tables based on a 21-category coding system of the FICS (Family Interaction Coding System) and videotapes were used for this research. The siblings displayed several differences in their behaviors depending on whether their mothers were present or absent. When mothers were interacting with their siblings, the children engaged in more attending, helping, and interacting.

When mothers were absent, siblings displayed in more disapproval, independent play, ignoring, negative physical contact, talking, and teasing. Maternal presence also interacted significantly with sex of each individual child and the sex of the sibling pair. These findings indicate that who is present does make a difference in the types of behaviors observed during family interactions. Mothers may play a facilitative role in terms of prosocial or 'proper' behavior when they are present whereas when she lives a wider variety of behavior and a greater incidence of antagonistic behavior by siblings may occur. Whether the goal of family observation research is to determine normal patterns of family interaction or target dysfunctional families for intervention, care must be taken regarding which family members are included in any observation session.' (Linda Musun-Miller (1991). Effects of Maternal Presence on Sibling Behavior.

Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 12, p. 145-157) REFERENCES1. Linda Musun-Miller (1991). Effects of Maternal Presence on Sibling Behavior. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 12, p.

145-157.2. Sandra Anselmo, Wanda Franz (1995). Early Childhood Development: Prenatal Through Age Eight, 2nd edition. West Virginia University.3. Ann E. Boehm, Richard A. Weinberg (1997); foreword by Jeane Brooks-Gunn.

The Classroom Observer: Developing Observation Skills in Early Childhood Settings. Teachers College, Columbia University.

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