Young Child Observation: A Development in the Theory and Method of Infant Observation

Overview

Observing young children at play is an everyday and often fascinating and pleasurable experience for many of us. It also has a great pedigree in the development of psychoanalysis from Freud’s observation of his grandson’s game with the cotton-reel onwards.

This book describes the practice of observing young children in home and nursery settings in a systematic and non-intrusive way in order to expand our understanding of their emotional, cognitive, and social development. It ...

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Young Child Observation: A Development in the Theory and Method of Infant Observation

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Overview

Observing young children at play is an everyday and often fascinating and pleasurable experience for many of us. It also has a great pedigree in the development of psychoanalysis from Freud’s observation of his grandson’s game with the cotton-reel onwards.

This book describes the practice of observing young children in home and nursery settings in a systematic and non-intrusive way in order to expand our understanding of their emotional, cognitive, and social development. It uses a psychoanalytic lens to enrich the meaning of what is seen. How do minds and personalities take shape? How can we train people to see what is most relevant in helping children to develop?

The chapters range from classic papers by famous practitioners of an older generation to observations completed in recent years in the UK, Europe, and the US. Observation of this sort has also spread to Latin America, India, Australia, Africa, and the Far East. The differences and continuities with Infant Observation are the starting point. What happens when a child starts nursery? How active a playmate should an observer be? How do we balance the close attention given to the observed child with the wider group of children in a nursery? How do we make sense of the marked cultural differences we see between families, nurseries, and indeed national cultures? How can we use observation as a baseline for early intervention and how can we research what we are doing?

The book is written for the many students and professionals concerned with the care and education of under fives, and for parents, grandparents, and all who are interested in the mind of the young child. The meeting of inner and outer worlds, which characterizes life in these crucial years, is vividly depicted. Readers will delight in the children’s capacity for imaginative thought and also find themselves pondering what makes a nursery a good-enough place for staff and children.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781782200604
  • Publisher: Karnac Books
  • Publication date: 10/28/2013
  • Series: Tavistock Clinic Series
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Simonetta M.G. Adamo

Margaret Rustin is a consultant child and adolescent psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic, London, where she has been Head of Child Psychotherapy since 1986. She has pioneered and supported the extension of training in psychoanalytic observational approaches to training across the United Kingdom and in a number of other countries. She has coauthored, with Michael Rustin, Narratives of Love and Loss and Mirror to Nature, and has co-edited Closely Observed Infants, as well as Psychotic States in Children and Assessment in Psychotherapy.

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Table of Contents

Series Editor’s Preface
Acknowledgements
About the editors and contributors

Introduction: Simonetta M. G. Adamo & Margaret Rustin

Part I: Developmental issues
1) The transition from home to nursery school, Isca Wittenberg
2) The story of child development: a psychoanalytic account, Donald MeItzer & Martha Harris
3) Oedipal anxieties, the birth of a second baby, and the role of the observer, Simonetta M. G. Adamo & Jeanne Magagna
4) The Young Child Observation seminar: new steps in developing the observer role, Maggie Fagan

Part II: Observing in the home
5) An observation of a young Asian child with feeding difficulties, conceived via assisted reproductive technology, Anjali Grier
6) Laurie and his cars: a 3-year-old begins to separate, Claudia Henry
7) The day Captain Antonio’s balloon burst, Sharon Warden
8) The observed child, the observing child: the complexity of a child’s response to the stillbirth of a sibling, Simonetta M. G. Adamo

Part III: Observing in a nursery
9) The work of playing: a male observer gets to know a little boy whose father is absent, Ben Yeo
10) Seeing beneath the surface: an observer’s encounter with a child’s struggle to find herself at nursery, Elisabeth Dennis
11) Thoughts on transitions between cultures: Jonathon moves from home to school and from class to class, Elizabeth Taylor Buck & Margaret Rustin
12) “The house is a boat”: a group of children face separation, Simonetta M. G. Adamo

Part IV: Applications
13) Sewing on a shadow: acquiring dimensionality in a participant observation, Deborah Blessing & Karen Block
14) A participant observation with a boy suffering from a chronic illness, Anne-Marie Fayolle
15) Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends: familiar faces in an uncertain world, Mel Serlin

Part V: Research
16) Now we are two, going on three: triadic thinking and its link with development in the context of
Young Child Observations, Anna Burhouse
17) Young Child Observation used as a research tool: investigating toddlers’ development in day care nurseries, Wilfried Datler, Nina Hover-Reisner, Maria Fürstaller, & Margit Datler
18) Young children’s relationships with staff and peers in nursery: observations of two girls aged 29 months and 25 months, Peter Elfer

Epilogue, Michael Rustin
References
Index

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