The Human Observation Project is designed to provide practice in objective observation throughout the life-span. Format: The Human Observation Project (120 points) should consist of a minimum of five typed pages, double spaced, size 12 font, and one inch margins all around. Make sure to add your name and course title to the 1st page. • Write in complete sentences, use good English grammar, and correct spelling. • Avoid personal pronouns and statements such as “I believe, I placed the coin on the floor…”, “My research proved that….” – in objective, naturalistic research your opinion is not very important, but your findings are. Your research may suggest that…, support the hypothesis…, or indicate….; but it does not necessarily prove anything. • APA documentation style must be used when citing references in context and bibliography (if any). Grading: Project components will be graded as follows: • Early childhood: 35 points • Middle childhood through Adolescence: 35 points • Adulthood: 35 points • Supervisor signature or contact information, typed project cover sheet, clinical style writing: 15 points • Total: 120 points Procedures: Students must select one individual from each of the below life-span divisions. Select three observation sites in which a naturalistic observation of the three life-span divisions can be observed. Objective observation of human behavior is encouraged. Students may not use their own children, family members, or friends as subjects. A copy of the project details is included in the course packet and can be obtained from your ESO, Learning Coordinator, or instructor. Life Span Divisions a. Birth through early childhood – Day care centers, Head Start programs, new born nurseries, and preschool programs provide fertile ground for gathering information b. Middle childhood through adolescence – Public school, after school athletic programs, and church youth groups provide opportunities to observe physical participation and interactions with peers and adults. c. Adulthood – Offices, gyms, retirement homes, and social organizations may be good sources for observation. Alternate Project If observations cannot be made of birth through preschool, middle childhood through adolescence, and adulthood, then use the same chart to complete a clinical style observation of emerging adult, young adult, and adult. The observation could be divided: • Emerging adult — 18 to 25 years • Young adult — 25 to 30 years • Adult — 30 to 40 years Use of the Life-Span Divisions described above is strongly preferred. Directions There will be a total of three observations, one for each time period (life-span division) must be submitted. • Assign a project name to the individual selected at each division of the life-span. Names usually reflect a characteristic as in “Miss Brown Eyes” or “Giggles.” • Observations should be completed in public areas such as a day care, hospital, gym, school, retirement center, or workplace. The signature of a supervisor (school principal, supervising nurse, gym instructor) and an address or telephone number for the supervisor must be provided. • Specific, objective descriptions of behavior must be provided in each category. Young children move rapidly and produce a great deal of observable data very quickly. Older adults may take longer to observe in order to complete each aspect of the observation. • Be Objective. It is not sufficient to state, “He is very smart.” Describe specifics such as, “He uses sentences which contain five words. He uses the personal pronouns appropriately. He can count to ten with one to one correspondence. He recalls the discussion on the editorial page of yesterday’s newspaper.” • All observations must be turned in at the same time as a project. Each counts as a third of the test grade received for the project. Format: Use the below format to make and record your observations. The completed paper must follow the same format. This is a clinical style project, not narrative in form. At least one objective description of behavior must be provided for each term. Life-Span Development Observation Observer _____________________________________ Code Name of Subject ___________________________ Age of Subject ____________ Date ____________________ Location __________________________ Supervisor Signature______________________________ Physical Characteristics Height – May use actual height if available, frequently need to estimate. Also state a comparison with age group. Weight – May use actual weight if available, frequently need to estimate. Also state a comparison with age group. May also comment as to bone structure. Proportions – State relationship of head to size of body. Consult the chart in your book. If you are describing an adolescent, you may also note that there is a surge in the growth of the feet and hands just prior to onset of puberty. Hearing – State what the subject can hear and from what distance. Example “Little Boy blue” responded to the female teacher’s verbal directions from across the busy classroom, approximately 20 feet. Ambient noise level was moderate. Vision – Provide an example of size and distance at which objects or print could be understood. Example – “Wiggles” was able to read directions written on the chalkboard from his desk at the back of the room. Tactile Sensitivity – Example: “Smiles'” body stiffened when the teacher touched her shoulder, the subject stayed within touching distance of the teacher throughout the class, or although encouraged by the teacher “fussy” would not touch the soft clay or paint with finger paints; he would build with the blocks. Motor Development Fine Motor Skills – This category refers to the capability of the small muscles. Can the subject use a crayon, pencil, or paint brush? In the case of an adult fine motor activity may relate to using a screw driver, computer, or telephone. Gross Motor Skills – Gross refers to large muscles. Good examples would be riding a tricycle, throwing a ball, running, swimming, and jumping. Strength – Give examples such as moving a chair, pulling a wagon, carrying equipment, pushing a stroller, pushing a lawn mower, lifting in the workplace or gym, carrying books. Eye/Hand Coordination – Accuracy of hand manipulation in relation to vision. Did the subject look at the object before and during researching or operating? Cognitive Development Memory • Short Term – Lasts 30 seconds if there is not rehearsal. Example: The subject carried out a three part direction. “Pick up the blocks, put them on the third shelf, and sit down.” • Long Term – May be permanent memory. Does the subject recall events from the past? Example: “Mrs. Gray Hair” described the dress she wore to the prom in 1950. Problem Solving – Example: When the paint spilled the subject grabbed the paper towels and quickly wiped up the spill. The subject adjusted the amount of weight on the exercise machine. The subject asked the teacher to repeat the directions. Abstraction – Reflects the use of a representational system. The subject may be observed to solve problems with words rather than having to use trial and error or manipulation of objects. Use of imagination may be displayed. For example: “Brown Eyes” was able to correct the math problem when reminded of the rule. She did not require an example to make the change. The subject pretended to be a rabbit and hopped with hands held in front of his chest as if they were paws. Cognitive Strengths – This could be related to an academic area, language/vocabulary, problem solving, memory, or the speed of learning. Example: The subject listened to the coach and carried out the play without error. Cognitive Weaknesses – Same categories as above. Poor or below expected direction following, attention, memory, problem solving etc. Example: Subject picked up the blocks but did not recall the correct shelf on which they were stored. Language Development Receptive (understanding) Can the subject follow a complex direction, did he respond to specific terms. Example: The subject picked up some blocks, but was not able to respond to colors. Write down the exact directions that were given to the subject and describe the response. Expressive (verbal, gesture) Record several sentences produced by the subject as examples. Vocabulary – Record words according to category. Example: Did the subject know the difference between a guitar and violin (nouns), “stand behind or in front of Suzy” (prepositions), brown and beige (adjectives), softly (adverbs). Are the terms understood and used expressively? Grammar, syntax (number of words in sentence, parts of speech used, syntactical arrangement) Record specific sentence. For example: “I ain’t go no more. He stepped on my foot. The arch enemy descended upon the frightened princess with unrelenting fury. Get cookie.” Articulation (How words are pronounced.) Example: “My bwofer an my thithter aw wittulu dan me. I have a wittle wed wagon.” Inflection (Rising and falling of the voice for statements, questions.) Example: Each statement ended with an elevation of pitch. As a result the subject sounded as if he was always asking a question. The teacher’s pitch was higher when she spoke to girl students. Rhythm (Hesitate to speak, stutter, pause) Example: The subject paused before using a person’s name. The subject spoke so rapidly that he was asked to repeat the directions. Associational Development Attachment – Example: “Blue Eyes” stayed close to her mother and cried when she left. The subject recalled the words of his father. Temperament – “Blue Shirt” refused to answer the phone unless his supervisor was in the office. “Miss Edgy” jumped each time the telephone rang. Sense of self – The “Cheer Leader” checked her make-up every five minutes and asked girl friends to confirm her appearance with, “Are you sure I look okay?” Response to interaction with: Self – In spite of the spill which was rapidly reaching the aisle and the feet of several unsuspecting McDonald’s patrons the “Young Mother” spoke calmly to her child and appeared to be in control of the situation. Adults – “Little Red” lowered his eyes to the floor when spoken to by an adult. Peers – The “Terror” shouted directions to his peers on the playground and insisted on leadership in all activities. Males – “Little Red” avoided males in the classroom and on the playground. Females -“Good Grammar” called on more girls than boys when asking questions of her fifth grade class
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