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The Observation of a 5 Year Old Boy

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The Observation of a 5 Year Old Boy

Date: 3/19/04

Time observation started: 1:40 pm

Time observation ended: 1:55 pm

Name of child: Daiki

Age of child: 5.6

Setting: The setting took place in a play area/corner in the classroom of the school where Daiki attends. Daiki is playing with power rangers and there are also other children present, playing in the same play area.

Observation: Daiki is sitting in a play area with a friend playing with power rangers at a small table. He is acting out and talking like the power rangers. Daiki is getting up and running, pretending he is flying. He then sits back down at the table and looks very closely at the power ranger, trying to put his helmet back on the power ranger. He says to his friend, "Oh no, how do I get power ranger helmet back on, Yuma?"

His friend doesn't respond, and he says again, "Yuma! Help me, Yuma!"

Daiki then throws the power ranger across the room out of frustration. After he throws the toy, he notices that another child has started to cry. So Daiki picks up his power ranger that he just threw and brings it to the child who was crying and says, " Do you want power ranger?"

Daiki seemed upset and very concerned that this child was crying. Daiki didn't get an answer so he set the power ranger next to the child and went back (while chewing on his fingers) to the table he was sitting as he kept looking at the crying child as he walked back. Eventually the child cam to the table where Daiki was sitting and gave Daiki the power ranger and Daiki says, "I like you Griffin, Griffin you're a nice...nice kid."

Interpretation: As I was observing Daiki I could see that many of his actions and behavior was typical for his age. I will discuss my observations in terms of the cognitive and psychosocial domains of human development. I will also discuss my observations using the cognitive theory.

I will first discuss what I observed using the cognitive domain of human development. I noticed that Daiki's language was very persistent. Even though his sentences were not complete, he still talked to his peers as a way of communicating his emotions. For Daiki's age group Berger says, "Language allows a person to enter and traverse the zone of proximal development, because words provide a bridge from the child's current understanding to what is almost understood" (Berger, 253). Daiki is Chinese so maybe the fact that he doesn't speak complete or full sentences is because his parents possibly do not. This could be one reason, or he could have just not yet developed this certain skill yet. I noticed that Daiki demonstrated egocentrism, in that he sees the world in just his own perspective and not any one else's. Daiki showed this when he threw his power ranger across the room. When he threw the figurine he was just thinking in his point of view. He knew that he was frustrated and the only way he thought he could get out his frustration was by throwing the power ranger. He did not think about how it would affect other people. Egocentrism is very typical for Daiki's age group. Typical five year olds don't realize that people have thoughts and have points of view of their own, that they themselves can personally affect. Egocentrism is very important concept from Piaget's pre-operational theory. Although this is one aspect of cognitive development, the theory- theory of mind, contradicts Piaget's concepts. The definition of theory of mind is, "an understanding of human mental processes, that is, of one's own and other's emotions, perceptions, intentions, and thoughts" (Berger, 257). Although Daiki did not realize at first, that he was going to hurt the other child's feelings, he realized it after and addressed the other child's feelings. Daiki used his theory of mind to understand that the reason the child was crying was because he threw the power ranger. He knew his friend was hurt and confronted him with sympathy and understanding. Daiki first demonstrated Piaget's concept of egocentrism but then used concern and understanding as in the theory- theory of mind. All of these interpretations are part of the cognitive domain of human development.

Next, I will discuss the psychosocial domain of human development.



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