How to Conduct an Observation Observations are like a video camera. They record interactions, learning, playing, physical surroundings, and teaching.
Questions to Consider?? • What is the purpose of observing? • What types of things are important to look for? • What is an inference? • How is it different than a fact?
Objective Statements • 1. Only observable actions; Not motives, attitudes, or feelings • 2. Don’t try to interpret why something happened; No judgments, conclusions, or labels
Things to Observe • Environment – physical surroundings, room set-up, diversity of decorations, location of teacher’s desk, centers, etc.
Teacher • Tone of voice, proximity to children, verbal/nonverbal communication, interactions, words, appearance
Children • Interactions with others, nonverbal/verbal communication
Inference • Attempting to explain observed behavior and give it meaning. • Why did child behave or react… • What caused teacher to… • No two people will interpret the facts the same way. They infer based on their own personal experiences, feelings, values, and attitudes.
Video Clip on Various Observations http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1Xtr3RKjGc
Summary • What were your observations about the environment? • What were your observations of the students? • What difficulties did you encounter in making the distinction between fact and inference?