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Introduction to Observation

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Observation is like acting or directing or writing or any other complex skill-set. It takes practice. We all observe things all the time. We notice or perceive things that might be in our path—metaphorically and literally. We see things we want (or don’t want) and take action to secure them (or push them away). When we talk about observation as an assessment tool, we sometimes refer to it as “formal observation” or “field observation” or “qualitative observation. ” In those instances, we are observing with purpose in order to collect data that may or may not support a hypothesis.

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For example, we may be observing a class of students who are creating performance pieces. An objective for the class might be “Students work together to accomplish a task. ” As an observer, we might begin by asking ourselves “How could I tell if students were working together? ” or “What behaviors would students demonstrate if they were working together? ” We then sit quietly in the back of the class, taking notes as a fly on the wall, and observe what is (and is not happening) in the class.

Simple, huh? Yes, but…

The purpose of observational data is to describe, not critique, the setting that was observed, the activities that took place in that setting, and the people who participated in those activities. But as we observe, our own personal experiences and biases often interject. We think how we might do things differently. We rely too heavily on how we ourselves act when we are engaged, and don’t acknowledge that there may be other ways to demonstrate engagement. And, most of all, we get bored or unfocused. We forget why we are there, and only part of our brain remains present and the rest is off at the grocery store.

Don’t worry if you feel you are missing something. It is just not possible to observe everything. Take time to scan the room for activity more generally, and then focus for a few minutes on specific students or elements. When observing, make sure to take notes as best you can during the session, and then flesh them out immediately afterward. Most importantly, an observer should have a sense of purpose and a question or two that she is looking to answer in the observations. Introduction Elementary education and teaching programs prepare people to teach grades one through eight.

Students learn to teach all subject areas to young children. They learn to plan lessons and projects designed to motivate and challenge students. They also learn to counsel students and work with families. Overview Have you ever gone back to your old elementary school and walked around? Didn’t you feel HUGE? The desks and chairs are small and even the hallways feel so much smaller. Yet, when you were a kid first walking down that hall, first sitting at your desk, you probably felt so little. School can be an intimidating place.

But once you made some friends, school was wonderful. You learned some very important skills in your early years – how to read, how to add and subtract – skills you use nearly every day. This is all thanks in large part to your teacher. Typically, you become an elementary teacher by getting a bachelor’s degree from an elementary education program. In these programs, your courses teach you how young minds learn and develop. You study child psychology, how to use technology in the classroom, and how to measure student progress.

You also learn about different subject matter, from reading to math to art. You then use this information to learn about planning courses and designing teaching materials. And through student teaching, you get to apply the information that you’ve learned and try out ideas that you’ve developed. Some programs allow you to focus on a specific subject area. For example, you might concentrate on math; this would allow you to concentrate on teaching kids math skills. Elementary education programs intend to prepare people to teach students in grades one through eight.

Middle school education programs intend to prepare people to teach students in grades four through nine. In most cases, you work in public and private schools. Many colleges and universities offer programs in elementary teacher education. You can earn a bachelor’s, a master’s, or a doctoral degree in this program of study. You can also earn a postbaccalaureate certificate. In general, a bachelor’s degree takes about four years of full-time study after high school. Graduate degrees typically take two to five years to complete after your bachelor’s degree.

Cite this Introduction to Observation

Introduction to Observation. (2016, Nov 27). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/introduction-to-observation/

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