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Early Childhood

Early Childhood

In order to facilitate understanding about the developmental process, students are required to engage in a project. The requirements of the project are to observe a child for 10 hours and then interview 2 individuals who are parents, teachers, or caregivers of that child. Both the observations and interviews must be transcribed. Students must then compare and contrast the observations and interviews and relate them to developmental research.

The goal of this project is to observe and gather information on development as it occurs in the biological, social, cultural, and psychological domains. Students are required to observe 1-2 children for 10 hours and then interview 2 individuals who are parents, teachers, or caregivers of these children. Students must then compare and contrast the observations and interviews and relate them to the 4 developmental frameworks and basic research in child development as described in the text or discussed in class.

Your paper will be a 4-5 page summary that integrates key portions of your observations and interviews with key information on your topic area from the text and class discussions. In your paper, summarize the key knowledge in your topic area. You must summarize in your own words. Integrate your observations and interview responses with key concepts, theories, and research evidence in your topic area as presented in the text. Briefly describe demographic information on your child and interview participants. In your conclusions, summarize what you learned from this question and what questions remain unanswered. Describe how these observations and interviews enhanced your understanding of child development.

You must use the guidelines in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 5th Edition when writing this paper. This book will tell you everything you need to know about how to format the paper (spacing, margins, cover page, page numbers, page headers, references, etc. Follow this book's guidelines!) A few of my requirements and guidelines from this book are below. See the book for more!

The paper format should be as follows:

  • 4-5 pages excluding transcriptions, consent form, and references
  • Typed and double-spaced
  • Font size: 12 Point
  • Font type: Courier New

Sample topics to discuss in the Early Childhood Research Paper:

  • Observe 2 infants of the same age and interview their mothers. Compare the children's physical, social, communicative, and cognitive accomplishments. Talk with the mothers about the key endogenous ("nature") and exogenous ("nurture") factors that have influenced the children's accomplishments.
  • Observe 2 children ages 1-2 and interview their mothers, one who has never worked outside the home and one who immediately returned to work after the birth of her baby. Ask how they feel about the role of the child care in our culture. What does each see as the advantages and disadvantages of her situation for herself and the development of her child?
  • Observe 2 pre-school aged children and interview their parents. Ask them to describe their child's characteristics since birth (e.g., fussy, happy, quiet). In what areas have they seen continuity since birth? How have these characteristics affected the way they interacted with their children?
  • Observe 2 children of age 2 and their parents. Focus on the linguistic development of the children and describe the key aspects of their linguistic development in terms of sounds, words, grammar and pragmatics. Talk with the parents about what they have done and continue to do to assist the child in acquiring language.
  • Observe a child in a kindergarten classroom and a child in a 3rd grade classroom and interview their teachers. What evidence do you see of the 5-7 brain shift? How do the teachers respond to these different developmental "stages"?
  • Observe 2 middle childhood aged children from different cultural backgrounds and interview their parents. What beliefs and values do the parents say influence the expectations they have for their children's behavior? How do these beliefs and values fit with "broader patterns of living" as described in the text?
  • Observe a child in his/her elementary school classroom and at home. Interview the child's parent and teacher. Compare and contrast the learning experiences that occur in the school and home settings. How do these different types of experiences impact the child's learning?
  • Observe 2 middle-childhood-aged children playing a game. What rule-based behaviors do you see? Interview the children's parents about how they are teaching the children rules of behavior as were described in the text.
    Spend time with a teenager observing and interviewing him or her about the impact of the lengthy transition between puberty and the assumption of adult rights and responsibilities as is the modal pattern in the USA. What is the impact of being "caught in the middle"? Interview the teenager's parent about their views on their teen being "caught in the middle" between childhood and adulthood.
  • Observe and interview several teenagers from "minority" groups (e.g., African-American, Native-American, homosexual, etc.). Discuss with these teens how they have resolved their identity crises as described by Erikson. Talk with teachers of these teens and ask how they generally respond to the developing identity of teens.

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Early Childhood Research Papers

Early Childhood research papers describe the understanding about the developmental process of children in the early stages of childhood.

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