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The Study of Children in Diverse and Inclusive Educational Settings through Observation and Recording

Students learn to use a variety of observational approaches and recording techniques as basic assessment tools to increase their understanding of and skill in planning for children who are developing normally, as well as for children with disabilities and special needs. Through observing cognitive functioning (stage and style), social-emotional behaviors, motor ability, and the interplay between the individual child and the group, as well as the individual child and adults, students become aware of how specific behaviors yield insight into the overall life of the child. Students will use their observations to reflect on possible curriculum and classroom adaptations that would allow the children to build on their strengths and better meet their challenges. An additional goal is to help students, as participant observers, to develop greater sensitivity to their own feelings and interactions with children, and to consider how these affect the selection, omission and interpretation of observable data. Emphasis is placed on a growing sensitivity to what is "subjective" and what attempts to be "objective" observation. Each student conducts an in-depth study of a child. Prerequisite: EDUC 500 or EDUC 800; or permission of the instructor.