Observation Techniques


Anecdotal observations of child development can be planned in advance or be spontaneous observations of interesting instances.

Now we know what an anecdotal observations of child development is. a written narrative that tells the story as it happens.

So the next step is consider an appropriate example of this observation technique.

This anecdotal obsevation tells a story of two 3 year old girls playing in the home corner of an Education Nursery. The observation is focused on observing social development.

Click for a demonstration of an anecdotal observation

Points to remember when using an anecdotal observation technique

  1. Research developmental guides and textbooks to focus your observation
  2. Include sources of information about norms for stages of development in the bibliography
  3. Include a specific aim to focus on an area and stage of development
  4. Include the ages of the children
  5. Write up your observation notes as soon as possible so you do not forget essential details
  6. Give a detailed description of the observation
  7. Include details of what the child says and does, but more importantly describe how the child says and does things

Click for the evaluation of this anecdotal observation

Before you go off somewhere else check your understanding!

1. What exactly is an anecdotal observation technique?

Choose an option.

Is this an observation of a planned activity?
Is this an observation of an individual child?
Is this a written narrative that tells the story as it happens?

2. When is an anecdotal observation the most appropriate observation technique to use?

Choose an option.

To observe a child's behaviour at lunchtimes over two weeks.
To observe a 2 year old child's interaction with an adult.
To observe Year 1 children using the National Curriculum.

Find out more about different observation techniques

Anecdotal Schedule Charts and Pictograms
Time Sampling Event Sampling Target Child

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