The purpose of this case study is to give a detailed description of the child as viewed by you, the observer, with respect to each of the developmental domains. Your report should be an objective report using information gathered from direct observation. Examples of objective reporting are: “I observed Jason making several activity choices on his own without the teacher’s help or direction” or “Gina shares her crayons at the art table with any child who needs crayons.” The case study should NOT include subjective (opinion) statements such as: “Jason seems like a secure child” or “Gina is the nicest girl in the room.”
Also within your report make direct and quoted references to the textbook and theorists (Erikson, Parten, Ainsworth, Piaget, Vygotsky, etc.) to support your statements. An example of this might be: “According to Beaty, one of the ‘observable indicators of a child’s feelings about herself in your classroom is her willingness to choose on her own the activity she wants to engage in’” (Beaty, p. 62). Be as thorough as possible with the data available to you. Try to include as much factual data from your observations as you can to “paint” a comprehensive picture of the child.
Case Study Outline
Use the following outline, including the underlined and italicized section headings for your report. Use the questions to guide you as you write the summary. Do not just answer the questions. Type the headings for each section. Only use the summary paragraph to include any relevant personal interpretations, opinions, conclusions.
• Give the child’s (fictitious) name, age, gender, and a brief description of her/his physical appearance.
• Identify the Observation Site: name of school; head teacher; age range of the children in the class.
• Describe the classroom environment wherein you observed the child.
Data Analysis
Discuss direct observations regarding both gross and fine motor areas.
How does the child’s large and small muscle development compare to the norms for their age? Reference the textbook and the theorists.
What evidence do you see of cognitive development? Are there specific areas that are strengths? Are there areas needing improvement? Give examples of the child’s logico-mathematical knowledge including classification, seriation, and numbering skills.
Give examples of the child’s language development. How does the child express her/himself? Written language? Reading?
Compare child to the norms for children this age. Reference the textbook and the theorists.
What evidence do you see of the child’s social competence?
How does the child interact with other children? How does the child interact with adults in the classroom?
How does the child share and/or take turns?
How does the child solve problems that arise with others?
At what level of play does the child consistently operate in?
What kinds of prosocial behavior did you observe?
Compare child to the norms for children this age. Reference the textbook and the theorists.
Is the child generally happy or unhappy; secure or insecure; stressed or relaxed?
How do you know? Give examples of behaviors observed.
How does the child feel about her/himself?
How does the child release stressful feelings?
How does the child express anger?
How does the child show fondness, affection, or love toward others?
What signs have you observed of appropriate or poor emotional adjustment?
Compare child to the norms for children this age. Reference the textbook and the theorists.
Summarize the most important points regarding this child. On the basis of your observations, what do you feel are the child’s overall strengths and interests? What is your interpretation of the child’s development (stay focused on positive)? Make suggestions to foster the child’s continued development. What are the child’s next expected developmental milestones and what are some activities that can help foster them?