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

This prediction takes into consideration any strength’s in the child. a thirty minute informal observation was made. Second. It looks at the biosocial. The actions of the child was documented and then summarized. 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. During this time direct interaction with the child took place.CHILD STUDY PROJECT Abstract 2 This paper compares textbook knowledge of Child Development with real life observation. a one hour naturalistic observation was made with no interaction. 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. and ten years is also included. the family. and psychosocial development of the seven year old. Conservation testing and information from the parental interview was also used in this study. cognitive. The observation was based on a seven year old female. A prediction of the child’s development over the next year. First. .

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

I arrived at the house around 10:00 a. 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. 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% . During the one hour period I made the following observations: Observation Table 1 Activity Played Alone: Watched T.m. At first she was interrupting and asking questions. on a Saturday morning.V. I spent a few minutes saying hello and taking a quick peak at the baby. I have been to their house before so Macie was expecting me to spend time with her as I usually do. but finally went on about her business and the “observation” began.

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

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

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

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

the observations made of Macie were pretty close to where the textbook says she should be. Although no one would fit every description of every level of development. 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.In conclusion.

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

parenting: http://www.shtml .CHILD STUDY PROJECT 10 Keeping Parents Informed on child development.childdevelopmentinfo.

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