Observation Techniques


Observation schedules can be pre-planned in advance to help focus the observation

Now we know what an observation schedule is.
a pre-planned checklist of child development milestones.

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

There are two examples of observation schedules.
The first uses the same example of two 3 year old girls, Katy and Rosie, playing in the home corner of an Education Nursery. The checklist is focused on social development and includes a column to comment on individual details of development. The checklist is more specific and meaningful in showing the children's development.
The second example of gross motor skills is limited and lacks detail.

Click for a demonstration of a developmental checklist

Points to remember when using an observation schedule technique

  1. Use developmental guides and textbooks to design a checklist
  2. State the sources of information about norms for stages of development
  3. Include a title to say what area of development is observed
  4. Include the ages of the children
  5. Include a key to explain what the checklist means
  6. Using observed today/not observed today is less judgemental than yes/no or achieved/not achieved
  7. Ticklists give limited information, but adding comments can give individual details about each child's development.

Before you go off somewhere else check your understanding!

1. What exactly is an observation schedule?

Choose an option.

Is this a way to observe a group of children?
Is this a pre-planned checklist of child development milestones?
Is this a checklist to record all the skills a child has achieved?

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

Choose an option.

To observe a child's verbal language.
To observe a baby's development as part of a longitudinal study.
To observe an individual child's cognitive development to plan stimulating activities to meet the child's needs.

Find out more about different observation techniques

Anecdotal Schedule Charts and Pictograms
Time Sampling Event Sampling Target Child

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