Get Adobe Flash player
34  Chapter 2 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL More Observation Practice—Putting It All Together Try this activity, either alone or with a partner or small group, to get more practice collecting details, describing what you see, and interpreting your observations. 1 Gather more photos. There are a number of beautiful photography books that can be excellent resources of photos of children with lots of action and emotions portrayed. The Family of Children by Jerry Mason (1977) and From My Side: Being a Child by Sylvia Chard and Yvonne Kogan (2009) are great resources. You can also go online and search for photos of children to use for your practice. Photos are an easier starting place for practice than live-action videos. 2 To help you make the distinction between descriptions and interpretations, put a line down the center of some paper, labeling one side Descriptions and the other Interpretations. You might also want to make a separate area for your parking lot to jot down your quick reactions and labels. 3 Write down what you see in the pictures and put your words and phrases under the appropriate category. 4 Review the Components of Observation Skills (pages 30–31) to practice describing more details from your photos. The more you practice these skills, the better you will become at observ- ing. Once you have ample practice with photos, follow the same process with short video clips of children. Finally, practice with children in real life. Remember to take your time to really see children. Don’t worry about a right answer or perfect writing skills. More to Do You’ve completed the first observation study session! You probably will agree that developing this approach and the required skills will take time and prac- tice. Some of your practice should focus on activities that will strengthen your ability to change perspectives. Try to let go of your filters, leave your comfort zone, and accept the insecurity that comes in letting go of your usual ways of looking at things. Included here are a few art-of-awareness activities to try. These activities are not directly related to observing children, but rather are fun experiments that can help you develop flexible thinking—which, of course, has everything to do with your work with children. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL