Observation Techniques




Target Child


A series of observations to give a picture of an individual child's holistic development.

Now we know what target child observations are

a series of observations to give a picture of an individual child's holistic development.

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

Click for a demonstration of a target child observation

Points to remember when using a target child technique


  1. Focus on one child's development
  2. Try not to make it obvious to the child that you are observing them. This can distress some children or it can encourage others to play-up for the occasion
  3. A study of holistic development should include a variety of observation techniques
  4. The evaluation of a target child study should refer to the other observations and include an assessment of the child's holistic development
  5. A longitudinal study should focus on a specific area of development to show changes in development over time
  6. The evaluation of a longitudinal study should refer back to the first observation and show the progress the child has made in their development.
  7. Use a variety of sources of information to research norms and make an assessment of the child's stage of development

Before you go off somewhere else check your understanding!

1. What exactly is a target child observation?

Choose an option.

Is this a longitudinal study of a baby's language development?
Is this a series of observations to give a picture of an individual child's holistic development.
Is this an observation of a 7 year old child reading aloud?

2. When is observing a target child the most appropriate technique to use?

Choose an option.

To observe interaction between a baby and an older sibling in the first 3 months.
To observe a child with special needs to assess holistic development to help to plan appropriate learning opportunities.
To observe play in an early years setting.

Find out more about different observation techniques

Introduction
Anecdotal Schedule Charts and Pictograms
Time Sampling Event Sampling Target Child


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