Observe three individuals from three points in the life span. Only use subjects you do not know and to whom you are not related. Select one subject from each of the following periods.
Early Childhood (3-5 years of age)
Middle childhood through adolescence (7-19 years of age)
Adulthood (20 years and older)
Record at least one example for each of the terms on the Observation Form.
Assign a code name to subjects observed to protect their privacy. Code names usually reflect a characteristic of the subject such as “Miss Eats A Lot” and “Little Blue Shirt.”
Locations: Complete observations in a public place such as McDonald’s, a classroom, a clinic waiting room, athletic practice, church youth group, retirement center, or a workplace.
* Deployed students should inform their instructor of their situation. In such cases, children may be observed through movies or parent interviews.
Obtain the signature of an adult in the observation environment as a supervisor. This is for your protection. An adult is then a witness that you are intently observing a subject for academic purposes. If it is difficult to transmit a signature obtain contact information to record on the form.
Record specific, objective descriptions of behavior for each term listed.
This is a clinical style report. List the term and provide the example of the behavior.
Do not state an opinion or make a judgment concerning the behavior. Simply describe the behavior observed.
Allow yourself sufficient time to gather data. Young children move more rapidly and produce a great deal of observable data very quickly. Older adults may require a longer observation period in order to collect a sample for each term listed.
Submit only objective observations.
An example would be: Receptive Language – The teacher asked Red Shirt to place his coat in his cubby. Red Shirt said, “Yes, mam.” He placed his coat in the correct cubby.
Be descriptive and provide specifics such as “Hero could hear his coach call him to come on the field from a distance of approximately 50 feet with traffic noise in the background.”
Statements such as “He has a great vocabulary for his age,” “She had an attitude toward her mother,” and “Bright Eyes was the tallest in her class” are not objective.