Observation: Origins and Approaches to Early Childhood Research and Practice
This book provides:
a comprehensive overview of the history of observation in early childhood education
a range of practical techniques, both qualitative and quantitative for practitioners
a section, mainly for researchers, on ethics and also recording, analysing, and reporting observational data.
It is rich in examples and draws on a variety of New Zealand studies to illustrate different approaches:
It illustrates how observations in early childhood settings can contribute to providing high-qualilty education. Systematic observation, using sociocultural approaches can help teachers:
understand children's strengths and interests
participate sensitively in their learning
link theory with practice and critique theoretical ideas
connect closely with Te Whäriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum
evaluate their teaching practice
understand aspects of children's worlds
practise more inclusive strategies for a diverse range of learners.
The author has provided a stimulating array of ideas about observation and its benefits. Any practitioner or researcher using this book will find much to enhance their professional practice.
Valerie Podmore is an associate professor in the School of Education Studies at Victoria University College of Education in Wellington. She has been actively involved in co-ordinating observational research projects in early childhood education settings for many years.