Explain how our own paradigm plays a role in what we think we observed versus what we actually observed.
How we think about development influences what we think we observe in children. Our observations are based on our preconceptions of what children should be doing at certain ages. For example, if we believe that all children should be able to sit still for extended periods of time, we may be more likely to notice and document when a child is wiggling in their seat, rather than when they are actively engaged in the lesson. Alternatively, if we believe that children are naturally curious and should be encouraged to explore their environment, we may be more likely to notice and document when a child is asking questions and exploring materials, rather than when they are sitting quietly. Our own beliefs and biases can therefore influence what we think we observe versus what we actually observe.
It is important to be aware of our own beliefs and biases when observing children, in order to ensure that we are accurately documenting their development. To do this, we can reflect on our own beliefs and examine how they might be impacting our observations. We can also consult with other professionals, who may have different perspectives, to get a more well-rounded picture of the child’s development.
1. How Our Own Beliefs Can Influence Our Observations of Children: https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/tyc/novdec2012/how-our-own-beliefs-can-influence-our-observations
2. The Impact of Our Own Biases on What We Observe: https://www.gse.harvard.edu/pepg/PDF/PEP_15_02_04.pdf
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Explain how our own paradigm plays a role in what we think we observed versus what we actually observed. Provide specific examples that relate to observations of young children’s cognitive, socio-emotional, and/or physical development.
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