The Child Study Project: Relationship between Textbook Knowledge of Child Development and Real Children Northwestern State University

and the community that could foster optimal development as well as any potential problems that may lead to future difficulties for the child. five years. This paper compares the findings of the real life observations to textbook knowledge to see if the child development follows the textbook teaching including that of Jean Piaget and Erik Erikson. Conservation testing and information from the parental interview was also used in this study. the family. a thirty minute informal observation was made. Second. It looks at the biosocial. The observation was based on a seven year old female. and psychosocial development of the seven year old. During this time direct interaction with the child took place. cognitive. a one hour naturalistic observation was made with no interaction. and ten years is also included. The actions of the child was documented and then summarized. This prediction takes into consideration any strength’s in the child. A prediction of the child’s development over the next year. .CHILD STUDY PROJECT Abstract 2 This paper compares textbook knowledge of Child Development with real life observation. First.

Her mom is a high school graduate with some college education. .CHILD STUDY PROJECT 3 The Child Study Project: Relationship between Textbook Knowledge of Child Development and Real Children This Child Study Project is based on a seven year old girl named Macie. Military but now works for a national company that supplies products and services for oil and gas drilling operations. Her father is a high school graduate who is a truck driver for a “Hot Shot”/Transport company. She was born on January 27. The family economic status would fall in the middle income category. 2004 and has a sister who is ten. a step-sister who is three and a step-brother who is only three weeks old. Catholic being raised in a mid-sized city in North Louisiana. Her step-father graduated from Nicholls State University as an RN. Her mother and father divorced when she was less than one year old. She has remarried twice since the divorce and is now a stay at home mom with her newborn son. sister and baby brother. Macie lives the majority of the time with her mother.S. step-father. Her father has also remarried and has a daughter from his second wife who is now about three years old. She is a white. He served as an RN in the U. He is married for the first time. The newborn baby brother is his first child although he does accept Macie and her sister as his own children. While the parents have joint custody of the children. She decided college was not for her and headed to the work place as an apartment manager. I thought it would be interesting to observe the seven year old to see how she reacted to the newborn brother now being the center of attention.

During the one hour period I made the following observations: Observation Table 1 Activity Played Alone: Watched T. but finally went on about her business and the “observation” began. At first she was interrupting and asking questions. I have been to their house before so Macie was expecting me to spend time with her as I usually do. I explained that I had “homework” to do for CHILD STUDY PROJECT 4 an hour but as soon as I was finished I would play with just her.I arrived at the house around 10:00 a.V.m. I spent a few minutes saying hello and taking a quick peak at the baby. Talked: Opened Her Present Played: With the dog 7 minutes 5 minutes With her Godmother 3 minutes 4 minutes With her sister 7 minutes With the baby 5 minutes Observation Table 2 Action Asked mom for something Marched across the room in an “attention getting” manner Disobeyed her stepfather and mother Sat down next to someone abruptly and then got up Frequency 4 times 6 times 3 times 5 times With her mom 5 minutes With her Grandma 3 minutes With others 3 minutes 14 minutes 4 minutes 23% 7% With her doll 10 minutes In her room 8 minutes 25 minutes 5 minutes 42% 8% Total Time Percentage of time 12 minutes 20% . on a Saturday morning.

After the one hour observation I was thinking this seven year old was extremely jealous of this new addition and this outward behavior was surely to get attention. Macie’s skills on the balance beam prove her balance and coordination is definitely developing at this point. decides on her lunch and in most cases prepares it or at least helps. she had plenty of new “stuff” to show me. their hand-eye coordination and balance are developing and it is considered the healthy years. She took me outside to see her new balance beam her step father had made her for Christmas. At this level of Biosocial Development. but not skinny. She demonstrated her talent on the beam and was very enthusiastic over her accomplishments. She seemed to put a lot of emphasis on her new “Baby Alive” doll. We spent much of the thirty minutes playing outside and talking about gymnastics. seven year old girl which is another characteristic of the School Years Development level. . According to our text book she falls under the “School Years” category which includes kids ages seven through eleven. Her Biosocial Development seemed right on target. they have a change in their social context. I noticed her gymnastics picture on the dresser and commented on what a great picture it was. CHILD STUDY PROJECT 5 For the informal observation we started out playing in Macie’s room. She dresses herself every morning. I learned that Macie is very much becoming independent. the child is becoming independent. In the interview with her mom. Since she had just celebrated a birthday and Christmas. petite. She came alive with great excitement. and she bathes herself every night. She is a very healthy. Trying not to jump to conclusions I continued to the next phase of the project: the one on one time.

During the interview with her mom I learned that Macie is at the top of her class. I filled two identical glasses with water to the half way mark. it is the same as what we just poured from the other glass”.According to Jean Piaget. When asked if this glass now held more water. This is the level they develop competence. Seeing the results of the tests that were given I would say she is well within the parameters of the Cognitive Development level that she should be. She is very eager to learn and does homework daily without being asked. By doing the conservation test. She was able to do reverse math such as 5 + 3 = 8 then 8 – 3 = 5. they can perform logical operations. they become . “No. I asked Macie to pour one of the glasses of water into a third glass that was taller and skinnier than the other two. reverse direction of thinking and understand the concept of permanence and conservation by learning volume. This means they should be developing their complex skills such as reading and writing. according to Erik Erikson. Inferiority level. she was excited. We then moved on to simple addition and subtraction. If the child is encouraged and praised for accomplishments. The Biosocial Development level Macie should be at. When I told Macie we were going to take a couple of tests. can sort items into categories. is the Industry vs. six to eleven year old children should be in the Concrete Operational Stage of Cognitive Development. Knowledge and intellectual skills develop as well as self confidence and they become more aware of themselves as individuals. I was amazed at the mental math she was capable of. she responded. I learned just how smart this seven year old really is. weight and numbers may remain the same despite changes in CHILD STUDY PROJECT 6 outward appearance. She was also able to read very well and told me the story of Goldilocks almost to perfection.

the adolescence years. it is clear she falls well within the parameters of all the textbook teachings. I actually thought the disobedience noted in Observation Table 2 was a sign of needing attention. Her independence is shown in her wanting to dress herself. After compiling the research on the Biosocial. even if she does put on two different colored socks intentionally. it may actually be a sign of independence and self confidence as described by Erikson. According to Erikson. she will continue to get the encouragement she needs to finish out the Industry versus Inferiority stage and move into the Identity versus Identity Confusion Stage.industrious. In looking to her future development. In addition. it is comfortably assumed she will stay on track with their levels of development. Even over the next five years. the move CHILD STUDY PROJECT 7 from “play” to “industrious” sometimes make them more isolated and pulled back. Predicting ten years moves us into a whole new area of confusion. pretty easily. it would be easy to assume over the next year she will continue to develop along the stages taught by Piaget and Erikson’s Developmental Theory’s. The encouragement she receives from her teacher and parents is apparent in the effort she puts forth with her school work. but if they are ridiculed they become inferior. Her intellectual skills were proven during the cognitive tests that we discussed previously. loving home. Peer groups and family are a major influence at this level. They may express their independence by being disobedient and rebellious. She is quite industrious. Cognitive and Psychosocial Development stages performed on Macie. Macie definitely shows many signs of being at this level. however. Being she is now living in a stable. the alone time noted in Observation Table 1 is probably perfectly normal due to the transition from “play” to “industrious”. So many physical and mental changes .

Her routine is disrupted each time she has to move to a different environment. During the parent interview it was mentioned Macie has a very structured routine on school days. Since I have no professional training my predictions are purely theoretical. she has to stay two weeks at Mom’s house and then two weeks at Dad’s. But there are many strengths that will help Macie stay on track. Overall. She has more positive things directing her than she does negative.take place during the adolescent years. This. Or during the summer. . All of this is positive strengths that will help foster optimal development over the next ten years. They encourage Macie to be independent yet still give her limits and control her actions. to me. five years and ten years. She is not only active in her church but she also enjoys going to church. my prediction is that Macie will continue to develop in all three areas of development on a normal level over the next one year. She is involved in afterschool activities such as gymnastics. No matter how loving and supportive each set of parents are it still puts a burden on the child. These predictions are based purely off of personal observation and from what I have learned throughout this research. The only potential problem foreseen in this prediction is the fact that she is still technically being raised by divorced parents. which is important in the development of her social competence. The child is the one whose life is disrupted during a holiday when she has to spend Christmas Eve at one house and Christmas Day at the other. Her parents use what Diana Baumrind would call “authoritative parenting”. would have a major impact on a child going into the teenage years who is trying to find herself. soccer. golf. They are loving and nurturing parents. girl scouts and CHILD STUDY PROJECT 8 most recently.

. Piaget and Erikson’s Developmental Theory’s are definitely visible in the real life development of this seven year old case study. my observation leads me to believe that real life child development pretty much follows the textbook knowledge. Although no one would fit every description of every level of development. the observations made of Macie were pretty close to where the textbook says she should be.In conclusion.

February 5).com/psychology101/social_development. Child Study Project. (2008). L. psychology. T. Retrieved February Naquin.). Cognitive Development Information on Healthline. 2011. from Child Development Institute - .com/od/psychosocialtheories/a/psychosocial.d. 2011. New York: McGraw Hill Higher Education.Complete Guide to Psychology for Students. E. (n. (n.stages. (n. (n.CHILD STUDY PROJECT 9 References Cherry. Lalonde. Retrieved February 8. meaning.d.Keeping Parents Informed on child development. (n.). from Psychology . T. ( Gale. 2011.d.). Interviewer) Santrock. from Psychology Classroom at AllPsych Online: http://allpsych. Retrieved February 5.d. parenting: http://www. Retrieved February 2.). Retrieved February 4. (H. J.about. Erikson's Stages of Psychological Development. from Encyclopedia of Children's Health: Infancy Through Adolescence: http://www.d. Retrieved February 7. Stages of Intellectual Development In Children and Teenagers (Child Development Institute).). Essentials of Life-span Development. 2011.html Erikson's Psychosocial Development in Psychology 101 at AllPsych K.healthofchildren. Common problems.shtml Stages of Social-Emotional Development In Children and Teenagers (Child Development Institute). Definition. from Medical Information for Healthy Living | Healthline: http://www. and Enthusiasts: http://psychology. from Child Development Institute .d. average. (n.healthline. 2011. Educators. Description.htm Cognitive Development . 2011.).

shtml . psychology. parenting: STUDY PROJECT 10 Keeping Parents Informed on child development.childdevelopmentinfo.

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