This course will focus on an overview of observation and assessment of children in the early childhood classroom. The course covers the purpose, tools, and methods of observation and assessment in the early childhood setting. Students will explore the use of various observation tools and methods and the interpretation of observational data for the purpose of planning, guidance, teacher response, and family involvement. The ethics of observation is also discussed. Note: Student should be a regular teaching practitioner in an early childhood setting. (3 credits)
- ECE 101: Introduction to Early Childhood Education
- Child development course (Recommended)
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:
- List and describe the purposes of observation.
- Discuss the ethics involved in observing young children and discuss privacy and confidentiality in the protection of children.
- Describe various forms (tools) of observation and summarize the advantages and disadvantages of each tool.
- Demonstrate the use of at least four tools of observation.
- Analyze observational data to plan, guide, and respond to children’s needs.
- Create a portfolio and explain its usefulness in the assessment process.
- Describe the role of observation in understanding and guiding children’s behavior.
- Illustrate the use of multiple observation tools for gathering information.
- Apply knowledge gained from observation of child development to plan an activity.
- Demonstrate the connection between observation and teaching practice.
- Discuss the use of observation in establishing relationships with parents and children.
- Discuss authentic assessment and how it supports planning for young children.
- Develop awareness of one’s own attitudes, culture, temperament, feelings, and ideas that may affect observation.
General Education Outcomes (GEOs)
Course Activities and Grading
Discussions (Weeks 1-8)
Reflections (Weeks 1-8)
Individual Assignments (Weeks 1-8)
Midterm Exam (Week 4)
Activity Plan (Week 6)
Case Study (Week 8)
Final Exam (Week 8)
Available through Charter Oak's online bookstore
- Jablon, Judy R., Amy Dombro and Margo Dichtelmiller. The Power of Observation for Birth Through Eight. 2nd ed. Teaching Strategies, Inc., Washington DC, 2007. ISBN-13: 978-1-933021-52-2
- Marion, Marian; Using Observation in Early Childhood Education, Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2004. ISBN-10: 0-13-888496-X or ISBN-13: 978-0138884963
- Students will be able to access the publishers website for Using Observation in Early Childhood Education for supplemental materials. Any additional materials will be available via free resources on the Internet.
Readings and Exercises
Topic: Why Observe? Ethics of Observation Reflective Practice Objective Observation
Topic: Narrative Methods of Observation
Topic: Non-narrative Methods of Observation
Topics: Documentation / Reporting / Planning / Progress
Topic: Observing Behavior
Topic: Using the Eclectic Approach to Observe Motor and Cognitive Development
Topic:Using the Eclectic Approach to Observe Emotional and Social Development
Topic: Using Observation to Prevent and Solve Problems
COSC Accessibility Statement
Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.
COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources
Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.