1. Background Information
this report, I observed a boy in Kindergarten 2, Sravanaesh s/o Sathivel. He is 6 years
11 months old. He was born on the 18th January 2011. He is the
youngest of two children. He has an older brother who is in Primary 5. He was
born in Singapore. He lives with his parents and his parents are his primary
caregiver. His parents are both diploma graduates and are working full time. His
father works in the ICA while his mother works as an administrative support. Sravanaesh
attends enrichment classes such as Kumon, Tamil classes and swimming lessons.
2. Introduction to Child Development
development is study of patterns of growth, change and stability that occur
through adolescence. It focuses on human development. Developmentalist who
study the course of development focus on the ways people change and grow during
their lives, also considering stability in children’s and adolescents’ lives.
are three main area in a child development; physical development, psychosocial
development and cognitive development.
development focuses on the body – the brain, nervous system, muscles and senses
affect behavior. It focus on how a child moves which includes their gross motor
skills, fine motor skills and eye hand coordination.
development focuses on the child’s feelings and how their interactions with
others grow and changes.
development focuses on intellectual abilities – learning, memory, problem
solving and their language skills.
development consists of three areas; gross motor development, fine motor
development and eyes hand coordination skills.
motor skills involve big movements involving large muscles such as pushing,
walking and running. Gross motor skills get more and more complex as children
get older. Gross motor development displays cephalocaudal trend which begins
from head to toe. Once a toddler is able to stand, the trend has taken place.
motor skills use small movements involving small muscles such as talking,
writing and drawing. Fine motor development displays Proximodistal Trend which
are movements from center of the body to the hands. From drawing / writing,
young children start by using palmer grasping which involves the palm. Young
children have not full develop their fine motor skills hence they are using
palmer grasping to hold an object. As the get older, they will start using
pincer grasping which involves index finger and thumb, a higher level of fine
eye coordination is the ability to do activities that require the simultaneous use
of our hands and eyes, involves fine motor development.
All these movements come naturally when the child
get the exposure to explore his/her surroundings, ensuring that they will get
more experience with their surroundings. With this exposure, the child’s
movement / physical development will progress to more complex movements.
Based on my observations, Sravanaesh has shown
stable and well developed gross motor skills. This can be seen when he
demonstrated a good balance, climbing and coordination. His balance can be seen
when he is able to balance on one leg which can be hard for most children as it
takes a great deal of muscle strength (refer
to Appendix pg 2, 9:39am – 9:41am). Sravanaesh also displays good
coordination skills such as he is able to hold onto the rock wall placement and
also plan his steps to effectively climb down the rock wall (refer to Appendix pg 1, 9:37am – 9:39am).
He is able to integrate gross motor skills and good hand-eye coordination. As a
child of his age, Sravanaesh should be able to perform all this movements like
running, balancing, climbing however, he did more complex movements such as
skipping three of the wall steps and get to the top faster (refer to Appendix pg 1, 9:32am – 9:35am). This shows that he is
aware of his body such as knowing which movement to do at certain / specific times.
Sravanaesh has excellent physical development.
4. Psychosocial Development
development involves social and emotional development. Social development is
the process of interactions, ability to adjust and adapt. With constant attachment
and trust a child has with his or her parents or caregivers, this will help the
child create a close bond and relationship with them.
There are two
main different attachment theory with relations to psychosocial development. Firstly,
Ethological Explanation (Bowlby J. 1986),
which stated that a child develops attachment with the person who best reads and
responds to his / her signal. This child is capable of developing secure or
insecure attachment. Unlike the first theory, the second theory, Psychoanalytic
Explanation (Freud S. 1856-1939)
believes that children develop strong emotional attachment to adults who
satisfy their needs, especially hunger. I agree with the former which suggest
that child develops an attachment with the person who understand and respond to
his / her signal.
Explanation by John Bowlby can be further supported by Harlow’s Theory of
Attachment by (Harlow H. 1958), did
an experiment which concludes that food is not the most important things a
child seeks from his / her mother / caregiver. Rather, comfort of close bodily
contact and satisfaction of a child to cling on (Papalia,
Martorell and Feldman, 2014) is more important.
Strange Situation study (Ainsworth M.
1967) conducted to see behaviours of children who are securely and
insecurely attached. Babies who are securely attached sometimes cry or protest
when a caregiver leaves but quickly obtain comfort they need once caregiver
returns. (Papalia, Martorell and Feldman,
2014. Avoidance attachment babies are unaffected by caregivers leaving or
returning (Papalia, Martorell and
Feldman, 2014). Avoidance attached babies show little emotions, either
negative or positive. (Papalia, Martorell and Feldman, 2014).
Anxious (resistant) attachment babies get really anxious even before
their caregivers leave. Upon the caregiver’s return, they tend to be upset for
a long period of time. (Papalia, Martorell and Feldman, 2014).
Disorganized Attachment (Main & Solomon, 1986) babies shows
misdirected behaviours such as the mother who he
needs for comfort is in fact the cause of his distress. Mother’s behavior might
fall into the extremes of physical or sexual abuse or it might reflect the
mother’s own fear and helplessness in the face of her infant’s demands. Babies will
develop good social emotional skills, if he / she feels secured and in turn will
grow up to have confidence, trust, sense of identity and good social skills. The
child will be competent.
Based on my observations, Sravanaesh has displayed excellent
characteristic of social development. He has shown amazing pro-social behavior
and self-awareness. He knows his abilities and when to ask for help (refer to Appendix pg 4-5, Incident 4). This
shows that he understands himself and knows his limits in whatever he is doing.
He is confident is whatever task he is doing (refer to Appendix pg 4, Incident 3) and makes sure he does it
well. He also displays good pro social behavior as he always volunteers to help
his teachers and peer without seeking rewards.
Sravanaesh also shows that he is competent in his
social development as he seeks attention is socially acceptable ways, plan and
carry out complicated task and shows range of intellectual abilities. This goes
to show that he has a warmth relationship with his parents and teachers (Thomas & Chess, 1977,1984) He
displays great consideration, empathy, secure attachment and being over all
competent. He demonstrated the ability to lead (refer to Appendix pg 3-4, Incident 2) where asked his friends to
move away all the toys to get the chair from one place to another. He also
showed good problem-solving skills in getting a task done.
Sravanaesh is overall very securely attached.
5. Cognitive Development
development is development on how children think, how they reason and how they
perceive the world.
Development Theory (Piaget J. 1969)
has four stages to it. First, Sensori-Motor Stage (birth to two years old). At
this stage, child relies on touching, feeling and using his senses to find out
about the world. Learning still occurs even though it cannot be seen.
Pre-operational Stage (two to seven years old). At this stage, child still
relies on using senses but is increasingly able to use language and words to
represent things that are not visible. A child at this stage, only see things
from his / her perspective and does not realize that his / her viewpoint is
different from others. Instead of logic, they rely on intuition and how things
look to him / her.
Third, Concrete Operational
Stage (seven to twelve years old). Child at this stage is developing the
concept of numbers, relationship, processes. Able to think through problems
mentally though in terms of concrete objects rather than abstractions.
Developing a greater ability to understand rules.
Operational Stage (twelve years and above), able to proceed a step further and
can now think in terms of concepts and abstractions. He / she is developing a
level of potential adult thought.
Based on my
observation, Sravanaesh, a six-year-old boy is supposed to be at the
pre-operational stage. However, his cognitive development is more in the Concrete
Operational Stage. (Piaget’s Cognitive
Development Theory – handout 10). He is at the stage where he understands
that although the physical appearance has changed, the amount of coins still
remained the same (refer to Appendix pg 6,
number / counting). Same goes for the rest of the Conservation Task (refer to Appendix pg 7-9). This goes to
show that he has been exposed to play as play is an important component of
intelligence. Sravanaesh is able to view the world in a logical way rather than
intuitions and how things look for him.
of cognition is the process of gathering information and organizing it. It also
involves using what has been gathered as the essence of the cognitive
experience, allowing active involvement with people and things to allow knowing
and understanding. Also seeking experiences that are interesting to them
leading to problem solving.
that relates to cognitive development would be Social Cultural Theory (Vygotsky, 1978). He believes that through
play, children stretch beyond their own understanding and develop new skills
and abilities that support further development and learning. Social interaction
is important in cognitive development. Adults have a bigger role to play such
as scaffolding by asking questions and supportive play which helps less
competent children develop with more skillful peers – within the zone proximal
development (ZPD). He believes that when a student in ZPD for a particular
task, providing enough or appropriate assistance will give the child enough ‘boost’
to achieve the task.
observation of Sravanaesh (refer to Appendix
pg 10 – 11) where Sravanaesh uses available objects around him to represent
and aid in his pretend play. He displayed good cognitive development when he is
able to explain what each blocks and trays represent. This shows that he was
exposed to many play experiences where he can explore. As he is interested in
army tanks, war and airplanes, he is able to imagine what all this vehicle can
do and how they operate. He is able to visualize what happens during war and play
it with his friends during free play.
development progress over time as a child gets older. A child’s development can
only progress with exposure from parents and teachers. A child must experience
things to learn and explore. They also learn best through play where they are
able to express themselves better. Teacher and parents play apart in a child’s
learning through scaffolding and ensuring they have a good environment to
develop and progress in.
As per my
observation, Sravanaesh is well developed in all areas; physical, psychosocial
and cognitive. He has displayed excellent physical skills, great intellectual
skills especially in the conservation task at his age, he knows, understand and
look at things logically and lastly displayed amazing interactions with his
peer, shows empathy and acceptance of his friends and being able to care for
other not only of his age but older and younger. He has good problem-solving skills
and shows good leadership.