Observing Development of the Young Child / Edition 5

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1. Assessing Children's Development through Observation.

2. Using the Child Skills Checklist.

3. Self-Esteem.

4. Emotional Development.

5. Social Play.

6. Prosocial Behavior.

7. Large Motor Development.

8. Small Motor Development.

9. Cognitive Development.

10. Spoken Language.

11. Emergent Literacy Skills.

12. Art Skills.

13. Imagination.

14. Sharing Observational Data with Parents.

Epilogue: The Missing Component of Child Development.

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Editorial Reviews

Designed as a companion volume to the author's text published by Merrill/Prentice Hall in 1996. This update (previous edition, 1994) discusses observation methods and tools for assessing young children, with a revised chapter on spoken language and new information on emergent literacy and involving parents in their children's development. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Written for undergraduates preparing to teach in preschool programs, this textbook offers a systematic approach for observing and recording the development of children aged three to five years, especially in the classroom setting. It follows the child's progress in six key areas, covering her emotional, social, physical, cognitive, language, and creative abilities. Each of these is gauged in terms of more specific areas of skill. Beaty taught at Elmira College, and is now a writer and consultant. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130271532
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 4/6/2001
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 462
  • Product dimensions: 7.16 (w) x 11.08 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Assessing Children's Development Through Observation 2
2 Using the Child Skills Checklist 40
3 Self-Identity 66
4 Emotional Development 98
5 Social Play 132
6 Prosocial Behavior 162
7 Large Motor Development 190
8 Small Motor Development 226
9 Cognitive Development: Classification, Number, Time, and Space 254
10 Spoken Language 296
11 Prewriting and Prereading Skills 328
12 Art Skills 360
13 Imagination 384
14 Sharing Observational Data with Parents 414
Epilogue: The Missing Component of Child Development 438
Index of Children's Books 446
Index 449
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Observing Development of the Young Child presents a unique system for observing and recording development of children ages 3 to 5 in early childhood classroom settings. It is based on a progression of children's skill development in six major areas. The text is designed for use by college students preparing to be teachers in prekindergarten programs, nursery schools, child care centers, Head Start classes, and preschools. The book can also be used in such programs by the teachers and assistant teachers who want to learn more about children in order to make individual learning plans. Staff members preparing for Child Development Associate (CDA) Assessment will also find this textbook helpful with its suggestions for classroom activities that are developmentally appropriate for young children.

The text focuses on six major aspects of child development: (a) emotional, (b) social, (c) physical, (d) cognitive, (e) language, and (f) creative. It divides each of these aspects further into specific areas: self-identity and emotional development; social play and prosocial behavior; large and small motor development; cognitive development of classification, number, time, and space; spoken language and prewriting/prereading skills; art skills and imagination.


The six areas of child development previously identified are outlined in a Child Skills Checklist that includes specific, observable child behaviors in the sequence in which they occur. Each of 11 chapters discusses one of these areas, using the items on the checklist as subheads for the chapter and giving ideas for classroom activities for children who havenot demonstrated that specified behavior. The most recent child development research in each area is presented as background for the checklist items as they are discussed. Each chapter concludes with a discussion of an actual child observation in the particular area and an interpretation of the data gathered.

The text serves college students as a guide for observing and recording development of young children in their student teaching and coursework. The book is especially well suited as a supplementary text for child development courses. It also can help in-service teachers and assistants who are upgrading their skills in observing children, as well as those who are learning to plan for individuals based on their developmental needs.

Unique aspects of Observing Development of the Young Child include discussions of how to observe and interpret the data recorded, and plan for children based on observations. Important topics include children's emotional development, how young children make friends, how to help children develop empathy toward others as the basis for conflict resolution, how children use exploratory play to learn, and how to develop children's creativity through dramatic play.


New developmental assessment instruments are discussed, along with alternate approaches to child assessment using shadow studies, play-based assessment and child interviews, as well as digital camera photos. New information on the emergence of emotions in young children is presented, with special attention given to affection and love in early childhood as the basis for a child's growth and development in every area. New brain research showing the importance of physical development is translated into new large motor activities such as Eric Carle's picture book From Head to Toe, motivating children into exercising every muscle in their bodies. Can preschool children complete 100-piece puzzles? Do we underestimate their skills? Read on. Teachers of children learning English as a second language will find new support in Chapter 10 on spoken language, as will teachers encouraging prewriting and prereading Skills (Chapter 11).

Using picture books to assist children's development continues to play an important role in this new edition. Under the heading "Read a Book"—of the 190 children's books discussed, 50 are new and 85 contain multiethnic characters. New children's computer programs are also discussed in appropriate chapters.

The text concludes with Chapter 14, "Sharing Observational Data with Parents," a unique approach to involving parents in their children's development through child observations at home and developing collaborative child portfolios with teachers and children in the classroom.

But don't forget the Epilogue! An intriguing new concept is presented here, called "The Missing Component of Child Development." What is it? Turn to this final section to find out!


This edition of Observing Development of the Young Child is designed to be used as a companion volume with the author's text Skills for Preschool Teachers (Merrill/Prentice Hall, 2000). While Observing Development of the Young Child is intended as a child development textbook, the companion volume Skills for Preschool Teachers is a teacher development book, focusing on 13 areas of teacher competencies.

Like this textbook, Skills for Preschool Teachers is also based on an observational checklist, the Teacher Skills Checklist, which documents teacher competencies in the 13 Child Development Associate (CDA) "functional areas": safe, healthy, learning environment, physical, cognitive, communication, creative, self, social, guidance, families, program management, and professional.

Together, the textbooks form a cohesive, complete training program for preservice teachers, beginning teachers, and in-service teachers preparing for the CDA credential. Preservice teachers can use these complementary texts as especially effective guidance in their student teaching field experiences. Both books focus on positive behaviors in children and teachers. Both the development of children and the training of teachers look at "areas of strength and confidence" and "areas needing strengthening" to set up individualized training plans.


Once again, my thanks go to my colleague Bonny Helm, a college instructor and CDA field supervisor who read the original text and offered valuable suggestions for this new edition; to the teachers, parents of children, and directors from the Helm Nursery School in Corning, New York, from the Noah's Ark Christian Preschool in Taos, New Mexico, and from the Head Start Programs in Columbia, Missouri, and Mexico, Missouri, for allowing me to photograph their children in the classrooms; to the librarians at the Gannett Tripp Library at Elmira College; to my editor, Ann Davis for her continued support; and to the people in the field who have used the text and offered their constructive criticism for this revised edition.

Finally, I would like to thank the reviewers of this text: Lori A. Beasley, University of Central Oklahoma; Jane H. Bugnand, Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell; Patricia Disterhoft, Mount St. Mary's College (CA); Russ Firlik, Sacred Heart University (CT); and Barbara G. Graham, Norfolk State University.

Janice J. Beaty

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