Observation of the Early Childhood


An observation was held in the children\'"s wing of Tarrant County Junior
College. A variety of children between the ages of two to six were observed in
activities ranging from physical and motor to social and cognitive development.
Specifically I mean that whether it was leadership skills or lack of, running,
climbing and jumping, drawing and writing, or anything that could fall between,
it has been seen, done and accounted for in the following observation.
First let\'s start with the physical and motor development. Please say
hello to Karligh and Bethany, my first volunteers of the observation. Both
girls are in the four-year olds. The first activities under physical and motor
development that I\'m going to observe them performing are the large
muscle/gross-motor skills. The large muscle/gross-motor skills include:
climbing across the monkey bars, riding bigwheels (or tricycles), and running
through a built-in obstacle course on the playground.
Starting with the monkey bars, it\'s clearly obvious that Karligh is
physically stronger upperbody-wise than Bethany. With surprising ease, Karligh
crossed the monkey bars using nothing but her arms to perform this task.
Bethany on the otherhand was shaky and uncertain from the start. After hanging
from the first bar, she quickly swung her feet over to the side for leg support.
She was able to cross but only with a great deal of assistance from me.
Karligh also showed mastery in riding the big wheel. Her speed and
turning ability seemed to surpass anyone else on the playground. Bethany chose
to ride only after a piece of candy bribery. Her tricycle skills were somewhat
sluggish but more or less average. However, once again Bethany was victorious.
The last large muscle activity was completing the obstacle course. The
obstacle course involved running up a slide, crawling through a tunnel, crossing
a shaky bridge and then walking along a balance beam. Karligh ran up the slide
with a considerable amount of effort. She quickly crawled through the tunnel
and crossed the shaky bridge with little effort. She crossed the balance beam
more quickly than I\'d seen any child do that whole day. Bethany climbed up the
slide in a time that was a bit quicker than Karligh\'s. The crawling through the
tunnel was done quickly and she was first stalled on the shaky bridge. She
managed to cross the bridge in a modest time but she hit some trouble at the
balance beam. After slowly completing about ten percent of the travel across
the beam, she turned her feet sideways for the remainder of the crossing, which
took about two minutes.
The second area in the physical and motor development involves the use
of small muscle or fine motor skills. For the observation, these skills
include writing, and playing the drums (the only two fine motor skills I saw
both children perform). These children are four years old so when I say writing
I of course am not talking about paragraphs or even sentences. More simply, my
writing section only involved writing their names. Karligh was able to produce
her name on paper in a legibility that was impressive for someone four years of
age. Bethany too was able to write her name but just not quite as nice as
Bethany.
After observing the two children playing the drums, I think it\'s
unlikely for either girl to win a scholarship for college as a percussionist.
Bethany\'s playing was sporadic and entirely inconsistent but hey, she\'s only
four. Karligh\'s drumming skills were a bit more impressive since she managed to
lay down and keep a beat for a short amount of time.
In judging overall competence in gross and fine-motor skills, it\'s
obvious Karligh was better at both, but for most children competence seemed to
lean more on one than the other. The "strong kids" on the playground who were
the fastest tricycle riders, the highest jumping and so on, seemed to shy away
from more of the finer fine motor skills. As for the kids that seemed
significantly dominate in fine-motor skills, they were more likely to be seen
playing in the sand box or just taking it easy as opposed to climbing, jumping,
etc. This didn\'t always hold as true. As mentioned before, there were
exceptions such as Karligh.
Now we\'re on to the second half of the observation, which involves
social and cognitive development. This section includes sociodramatic play,
drawing pictures, counting and identifying leadership skills or the lack of.
The first half of this section takes place in the kindergarten\'s room where all
of the kids are five or six years of age.
The sociodramatic play I saw