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Early Years Practice And Pedagogy Assignment Sample

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Early Years Practice And Pedagogy Assignment Sample


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The observation is important for the practitioners as well as parents to control as well as monitor the early stages of childhood development among the children. The observation is also featured in various places within the Early Years Foundation Stage documentation. There are various approaches to the observation that can further be linked with the child development theories. On the other hand, the indoor, as well as the outdoor environment, also play an important role in supporting the learning of these children. This reflective essay is based on my observation of a child playing in the sandpit with other children where he also takes help from the adult while playing. This essay will cover the important aspects of the early childhood setting such as the importance of observation and the role of practitioners in such observation, the learning of practitioners during observations, and link to my own observation of “child A” playing in the sandpit, etc. Further, the essay will discover the child development theory related to my observation of “Child A” and the links will be made using suitable examples. At the end of the reflective commentary, I will be discussing the role of the indoor and outdoor environment in a child's learning as well as the required resources to be contained in such an environment. 

Learning and development of children through play

Section 1

Observation plays an important role in the evaluation of the activities of children in their early years. This activity helps the practitioners better understand the learning of children. Through listening, watching as well as communicating with the children taking participating in everyday activities as well as physical play activities, the practitioners can build a more accurate as well as clearer picture of the development of a child. The Early Years Practitioners are the specialists who take care of the social, emotional, mental as well as educational development of children up to the age of five years old. The observation of children is important to better understand the strengths as well as weaknesses of each child. For practitioners, child observation can be considered the simplest and most effective way to evaluate the development of young children (Flewitt and Cowan, 2019). 

There are various observation methods used by the practitioners such as tracking, checklists, time sampling, learning stories, target child as well as documenting. Considering the time-sampling involves a short narrative observation of a child at the intervals o 10 to 15 minutes. It helps the practitioners in having a broad overview of the child in such a setting. On the other hand, the tracking observations follow the choices of children within the settings. Such choices as well as time spent by the child are recorded along with the people involved in such activities (Croce, et al., 2019). This method helps the practitioner in understanding what he needs to know. Another important method is a checklist which is a pre-determined list identifying the skills, knowledge as well as aptitudes. This method has the purpose of evaluating whether the child can meet these certain criteria. However, this approach of observation is not considered sufficiently sophisticated to capture the richness of learning of young children. The target child observations are where the practitioners find out a particular child to observe. This observation is done within the learning environment alongside the children and offers the child the opportunity to demonstrate the activities they can do in the familiar environment alongside their peers (Roe, 2018).

Considering my own example of observation, I have observed a child playing in the sandpit. This child was trying to make a castle along with some of their peers. During the observation, I recorded and observed the excitement of such a child when he found the toys and a truck and when he was narrating it to his friend. The child also took the help of an adult to protect his truck from sand and other children. He builds his group with other children playing together to build a castle. During such activity, they also got in a little fight wherewith the intervention of an adult, the situation was taken into control. Such a child narrated the whole story behind the conflict and also said sorry for his mistake. For the observation of such a child, I utilized different approaches such as a checklist, time sampling, event sampling observations, etc (Flewitt and Cowan, 2019). 

As a practitioner, I have identified that I have learned various things about children through observing them in early years setting. These Early Year Observation methods help the practitioners like me to understand the capabilities of the children. For example, it is one thing to know that a child can tell the names of different colors but watching them apply such knowledge to the activities helps us in understanding the capabilities of such children. According to Purohit et al. (2020), observation is a natural way to keep the track of the development of a child in his Early Learning Goals. At these young ages, the children learn as well as develop new skills very fast and consistently. With the help of these observation methods, the practitioners like me can make notes of the important moments of progression in a quick as well as easy manner. I have also applied this knowledge in my observation of "Child A" through recording and keeping notes of his special activities during the play. With my observation, I have got to know about the capabilities of “Child A” that how he managed to develop his own team and build the castle with effective teamwork. Observations are far better ways to understand the children than the assessments. The practitioners can make a b connection with the children by getting to know them more in a better way (Harte, et al., 2019). 

My observation can further be linked to the socio-cultural theory by Vygotsky. This theory is the belief that the higher-order functions, such as learning, grow out of the social interaction among the children. The observation I have made in the case of “Child A” can better be interpreted in relation to the socio-cultural theory where the external social environment also plays a major role in the development of a child (Romar, et al., 2019). 

Section 2

The example of my observation made has helped me in understanding the role of the environment as well as support from peers in the learning of the child. As identified through observation, Child A could completely build his castle with the help of his peers which also helped him in building a b connection with such children. A famous psychologist or theorist, Lev Vygotsky proposes a seminal learning approach that is highly influential specifically in the field of education of the children. As per this approach, the children actively learn through hands-on experiences (Purohit, et al., 2020). As per his socio-cultural approach to child development, the caregivers, parents, culture, as well as peers, are largely responsible for developing the high-order functions. According to this theorist, learning is considered an inherently social process. As per this socio-cultural theory, the interaction with others, an individual can develop an understanding and perfectly integrates with the world. From my observation made by me, it was clearly visible that "child A" could enjoy and complete his castle with the help and support of his peers as well as an adult. As per this socio-cultural approach, our psychological growth is guided by the existing people in our lives who can be in different roles such as teachers, parents, or mentors. Most of the time, the children also develop their beliefs and values through their interaction with various social groups as well as through participating in cultural events (Flewitt and Cowan, 2019). 

One of the common practical examples of the Socio-cultural theory of child development proposed by the popular theorist Vygotsky can be the creation of a collaborative learning environment within the classroom. In this approach, the students can be paired with the other students of higher skill levels. It can also involve learning as a group or having students learn on their own (Clevenger and APfeiffer, 2021). There is an important concept in the socio-cultural theory known as the zone of proximal development. As per the theorist Vygotsky, it can be considered as the distance between the actual development level of the child as determined by independent problem solving as well as the level of potential development through problem-solving with the guidance and support from an adult or in collaboration with other peers. Under the proximal development, the skills, as well as knowledge of the individual, are included which could not be understood or performed on his own or without any support or guidance from peers and adults (Zhu, 2019). 

As identified in the observation made on Child A while playing with other children, it was identified that at times, he needed the support of his friends and peers. Moreover, He also looked for support from an adult to take care of his toy truck as well as to resolve the conflict among the children while building the castle. The socio-cultural theory is one of the most relatable approaches to child development which involves the growth of a child through social interactions as well as from the guidance of their mentors, parents, or teachers. There might be several areas or activities where a child can handle the situation by him or perform the activities to his own capabilities, however, sometimes, a child might need guidance and support from his peers or any adult to perform certain tasks and activities. Through this support and guidance, the child develops his knowledge as well as skills and learns new concepts (Law, et al., 2019). 

Under my observation, I identified that the children were playing together and we were very much excited to build the castle. During such time, they also built a b connection with each other and learned different things through working together. Vygotsky's theory of child development has stressed the significance of play in learning. According to him, through playing and imagining, the children can be able to further stretch their conceptual abilities as well as their knowledge about the world. As identified in the observation, child A found a truck and identified that it was getting dirty because of the sand again and again. He then asked for help from an adult which shows his ability to stretch his thought process and understand the need f support from an adult. The observation that I made was during a free play of children where they were learning together to build a castle with their mutual efforts. Through such observation, I was able to identify the capabilities and potential of those children. My main focus here is on understanding the learning process of children through play in their early childhood years. With the help of this socio-cultural theory, it can be understood that peers, as well as other social groups, play an important role in supporting the learning of a child in his learning years which can clearly be seen in the observation made by me. 

Section 3

The physical environment has a direct impact on the learning as well as the behavior of a child. The way in which the room is set up and how welcoming a child is feeling in the space as well as the ease of movement for the child from one space to another can either have a positive or negative influence on the learning of a child (Widada, et al., 2019). Considering my observation, Child A was sitting in the sandpit and there was sufficient space and a positive environment as many other children were also playing there in such space. Considering the outdoor environment for the children, these outdoor spaces offer various play opportunities to the children and help them get the experiences. According to Kim (2020), the children generally desire to be in an open space where they can have opportunities to play, jump as well as run. However, it depends on the location where the children live and how much these elements can be offered by such an outside space. As per the research performed by Tuuling et al. (2019), children need to be active as well as interactive in their environments. It is very important for them to interact with other people to learn as well as grow further. While playing in the outdoor spaces, the children meet with new people and start building sustainable social relationships through interacting with them. 

According to Byrd-Williams et al. (2019), there are mainly two key factors associated with outdoor play the excitement factor as well as the imaginative factor. The excitement factor brings the potential for risks as well as challenges and the imaginative factor offers limitless opportunities to the children to create the games of fantasy within the outdoor environment. It has been identified that the practitioners can also get new perspectives on children while observing them in the outdoor environment. There can be revealed the different interests, confidence as well as curiosity in the outside environment as compared to the indoor environment. Considering my own experience of observing Child A, I identified that in the outdoor environment, he was playing very happy and he was very excited while playing with his friends. He had a lot of space to jump, run and play with his toys which brought his imagination to bring a castle there out of the sand. Through such an environment, the learning and development of such a child were supported and facilitated with the help of an adult as well as his other peer friends (Cappelen, et al.,2020). 

On the other hand, indoor environments are also equally important in supporting the learning and growth of a child. The rick indoor environment has an immediate impact on the quality of a child's development as well as learning (Sagastui, et al., 2020). The rich indoor environment is interesting, comfortable, appropriate for the child as well as attractive enough to keep them engaged. It is generally identified that the playschools and classrooms seem to be very attractive and the colors used on the walls also remain bright. It is all just to create a playful environment for the child where he can be engaged and learn fast. For some of the children, the indoor environment of the classroom becomes like their second home where they eat as well as sleep sometimes. The indoor environments should be attractive as well as safe and secure for the children where they can play as well as learn happily with their peers (Dayal and Tiko, 2020). 

It has been identified that the indoor spaces are required to design with careful planning as they need to be flexible to accommodate the changing interests as well as requirements of the children. The books kept in such indoor spaces should be attractive enough for the children and should meet their imaginations and fantasies. The indoor environments prove to be very helpful in facilitating the growth of a child by offering them a positive learning and collaborative culture. The resources included in the environment such as felt pens, books, pencils, chalks for mark-making as well as clothes for dressing up the toys such as dolls, etc should be easily accessible to the children (Correia, et al., 2019). 

Considering the example of my own learning, I have identified that the children were happy playing in such a safe and secure environment where there were various toys to play with. Such an environment was so attractive for the children that they were enjoying playing by themselves. It has been identified that the adults also play an important role in supporting the learning of children in the environment. The teachers, mentors, or parents can help their children in the completion of the activities they have participated in. From the example of my observation, Child A also took the help of an adult to take care of his truck and also dealt with the conflicting situation among the children while building the castle. It can be stated that the environment supports the learning and the practitioner also plays an important role in facilitating the learning as well as the next steps of a child (Widada, et al.,2019). 


In the essay, I have discussed the importance of different observation methods in the early childhood setting as well as the role of the practitioner in such observation. Considering my own engagement while observing the children, I identified their potential as well as capabilities of completing certain activities without any help. I learned about the importance of social interaction while developing as a child. From my observation, I learned that the children sometimes require support from the adults to complete certain tasks and activities which relates to the socio-cultural theory proposed by Vygotsky. I identified how children play with each other and sometimes get into conflicts. AT times, they might need support to develop certain behaviors and avoid developing some bad habits. For example, when the children were fighting over the bucket, the intervention of an adult helped in handling such a situation. The children realized their mistakes and even said sorry. They successfully built the castle with each other's support and ultimately were very happy and excited. They learned the importance of teamwork as well as collaboration while working on any activity. 

I can also further develop my personal practices as a practitioner which I have learned from observing a child. I have identified that the observation is important and help me in understanding the needs, interests as well as p

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