Child development

Assessment details

You are required to pass all 4 learning outcomes for this unit in order to pass the unit. Assignment 2 gives you an opportunity to address all 4 learning outcomes.

These learning outcomes are:


1.    Learning Outcome 1: Critically analyse theories relating to young children’s development and behaviour (birth to 8 years), and their application in practice in contemporary social and cultural contexts – assessed in Assignment 2 only


2.    Learning Outcome 2: Professionally appraise young (birth to 8 years) children’s development and behaviour in social/cultural contexts and make informed curriculum decisions – assessed in Assignments 1 & 2


3.    Learning Outcome 3: Analyse how various influences impact on young children’s social/emotional, physical and behavioural development and  learning – assessed in Assignments 1 & 2


4.    Learning Outcome 4: Demonstrate professional standards of communication and information literacy

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Weight:                                              60%

Length:                                              2400 words equivalent

  1. You will need to have worked through material up to and including Week 7 to complete this assignment. You are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to review the material in Week 1 (Review) as well to ensure that you are able to demonstrate the required skill level and knowledge.
  2. The assignment tasks are laid out in a logical order. Follow them through sequentially.You will need to have worked through to Task 6 in this assignment by week 7
  3. Please note the requirements for the assignment identified in the Marking Rubric provided at the end of these instructions.
  4. This assignment addresses all the unit’s learning outcomes. You are required to pass all 4 in order to pass the assignment.
  5. There are no longer any resubmissions for Assignments so make sure that you have done your best before you submit.
  6. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY
  7. In assignment 2 you MUST meet the ethics requirements correctly. A fail in the ethics component of LO4 in Assignment 2 will result in a fail for LO4 and therefore a fail for Assignment 2.
  8. If you add up the sections where a word count is identified, you will find the total you get is not what is identified above as the word count for the assignment. That is because there are sections of the assignment where word count does NOT apply (it would not make sense to allocate a word count). Thus this gap is deliberate as it recognises the work you put into the elements of the assignment for which a specific word count is NOT allocated.

Task 1: Select a child and complete the Ethics formalities

Select a child under 2 years of age and obtain the required consents

You will need to use the ethics forms available below:

1)      Information letter (for target parent and child)

a)      Consent form (for target parent and child)

2)      Information letter for target non-parent

a)      Consent form for target non-parent

3)      Ethics Form 5: Ethics statement.

Please note that the Ethics Statement has components you must address – there are choices you have to make and identify on the form, and initials must be placed in the required spaces on the form. Failure to complete the form correctly will lead to a fail in the Ethics component of Learning Outcome 4.

Please make sure you are aware of, and act in accordance with the ECA Code of Ethics (http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/code_of_ethics/early_childhood_australias_code_of_ethics.html). You must also check if you are undertaking any observations in a service environment, that you follow the ethical requirements laid out in the service policy / procedures. This will require you to check with the service manager/ co-ordinator / director. If you are required to obtain additional consents please add this statement (and initial it as you have done all the others on this statement) to the Ethics Statement (Ethics Form 5).

Paste the Ethics Statement (Ethics Form 5) in your assignment at the beginning in a Section labelled as follows: SECTION 1: ETHICS

Task 2: Introduce your target child

Briefly introduce the target child and the context. In your introduction consider the factors in the child’s life that may be relevant to know about when focusing on the relationship between the child and the two adults. You may need to obtain relevant information through discussion with parents, family and/or educators – if you do so make sure that you behave in a professional manner.

NOTE: ALL names in the assignment must be pseudonyms to ensure you fulfil the promise of anonymity you made in the Ethics Statement. The FIRST time you use a name you must identify it as a pseudonym. After that first time you can simply use the pseudonym normally.

You will present your introduction in a section as follows: SECTION 2: INTRODUCTION OF THE CHILD

Task 3: Observations

Observation questions: Your observations are aimed at providing information on the following:

  • What is the relationship between the infant and the adult/parent
  • What factors are impacting on this relationship?
  • What is the relationship between the infant and the adult / non-parent?
  • What factors are impacting on this relationship?
  1. Observe the child interacting with one parent on at least two occasions (each observation should be around 5 minutes). Record the observations using a running record or anecdotal method. Your observations are presented as outlined below.
  2. Observe the child interacting with someone else other than a parent (eg child care worker, grandparent etc) on at least two occasions (each observation should be around 5 minutes). Record the observations using a running record or anecdotal method. Your observations are presented as outlined below.

In your observations you need to record:

  1. The observation question
  2. the context of each observation (including date, time, setting etc and your role in setting that up if applicable),
  3. the participants (using pseudonyms) and identify their connection to the target child.
  4. the observations themselves relating to the observation questions.
  5. Interpretation of each observation alongside the observation. The interpretation must relate to the observation questions.

Make sure your recording of your observations focuses on information relevant to the observation questions. Note that you cannot expect to determine the form of attachment between adult and child from your observations. This determination requires a Strange Situation test.  You can, however, observe behaviours that will allow you to decide if you are seeing a loving, nurturing, responsive and respectful relationship. In order to make these judgements you will need to look for behaviours that exemplify these characteristics. You must look for and record the strategies identified in your Sims & Hutchins text relating to establishing secure relationships. These include behaviours such as (but not limited to):

  • Responding to cues
  • Interactional synchrony
  • Expressions of warmth
  • Physical contact
  • Positive language
  • Handles for attachment
  • Social referencing

You must also look for and record behaviours such as the following: 

Adult Sensitivity
Facial Expression Is the adult’s expression alert, actively attentive, responsive to the situation. With an infant adult may exaggerate normal facial expressions. With an older infant engaged in toy play adult is alert with low key supportive expressions reflecting activity changes. Is the adult attracting and maintaining the infant’s attention either to the self or the activity?
Vocal expression Is the adult voice warm, slow, gentle, rhythmic, adjusted for the infant’s age and state or mood? Is the adult using voice to attract and maintain infant’s attention?
Position and body contact Are the adult and infant seated comfortably with physical access to each other and the toys? Can the adult see the infant’s face/ Can the infant easily reach the adult? Does the position facilitate involvement with the toys and with each other?
Expression of affection Is the adult demonstrating vocal, visual or kinaesthetic warmth of any type, eg gentle patting, stroking, tender holding, murmuring, smiling, joint laughter? Is the adult expressing pleasure in the infant in a way the infant could perceive?
Pacing of turns Is the adult timing his/her turns on the basis of signals or cues from the infant in an attempt to create a turn-taking dialogue? Is the adult giving the infant time to respond? Does the interaction show smooth turn taking with the adult response being related to the infant’s behaviour?
Control The adult or the infant may choose the activity. Is the adult clearly enjoying the activity and taking turns with the infant? Is the adult adapting his/her wishes to the infant’s? Does the interaction appear to be free of control from either participant?
Choice of activity Is the activity feasible and enjoyable as presented? Does the adult provide sufficient scaffolding to ensure the infant participates and enjoys the activity?
2. Infant co-operativeness
Facial expression Is the infant attending to the activity and showing no avoidance of eye-contact? Does the infant’s expression range from alert, serious concentration to playfulness?
Vocal expression Does the infant respond to the adult voice with increased attention, vocalisation and perhaps excitement?
Position and body contact Does the infant use his/her access to toys? Is the infant comfortable? Does the infant respond with at least acceptance if not pleasure to the adult contact?
Expression of affection Does the infant appear happy? Does the infant initiate or prolong contact with the adult?
Pacing of turns Does the infant accept adult initiations? Does the infant also initiate turns? Are there smooth, alternating turns in this interaction?
Control Does the infant respond with willing involvement and a lack of resistance to adult suggestions?
Choice of activity Does the infant respond with acceptance of the activity? Is prolonged interest demonstrated?
You will present your observations and interpretations of each individual observation in a section as follows: SECTION 3: OBSERVATIONS ADDRESSING THE OBSERVATION QUESTIONS SECTION 3.1: THE CHILD AND THE PARENT SECTION 3.2: THE CHILD AND THE NON-PARENT

I recommend you use a table format with the observation in the left column and the interpretation in the right column.

Task 4: Summarise your observations

Briefly summarise your interpretations of your observations and create a synthesised overview (this means pull the information together, and link it to theory and the EYLF). Make sure you use this section to answer both the observation questions for the relationship between the child and the parent, and the relationship between the child and the non-parent. You are expected to use references to support your use of theory and the EYLF.

  You will present your summary in a section as follows: SECTION 4: SUMMARY OF OBSERVATIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS

Task 5: Planning

You have 2 Recommendations for Learning. The first is to enhance/support the development of a caring and responsive relationship between your target infant and parent, and the second is to enhance/support the development of a caring and responsive relationship between your target infant and the non-parent.

Identify 1 action for each recommendation and 2 different opportunities (strategies) that could be provided to work towards each. Make sure you identify how these strategies are based on the normal daily activities of the child.

Clarify the role of the parent and the non-parent in supporting the learning in these practice opportunities (ie planning).

Present each Recommendation for Planning, its associated Action and Strategies in the format outlined below. Note however, that the information you present in your assignment will be the versions you create AFTER you have reflected on your peers’ feedback (see Section 6), and not the initial versions you post online.

NOTE: You are observing relationships NOT attachment. Attachment can only be determined in a Strange Situation test. You must NOT talk about attachment in your interpretations and planning.

You will present your summary in a section as follows: SECTION 5: PLANNING SECTION 5.1: RECOMMENDATION FOR PLANNING 1: For educators to provide opportunities for [child’s pseudonym] to build and maintain a caring and responsive relationship with [nominated parent – pseudonym] Our Actions For educators to provide opportunities for [child’s name] to …. Explanation of choice of Action: Strategies to address chosen action: 1.      Strategy 1:
Role of Adult in Strategy 1: Explanation of chosen strategy: Strategy 2:
Role of Adult in Strategy 2: Explanation of chosen strategy:   SECTION 5.2: RECOMMENDATION FOR PLANNING 2: For educators to provide opportunities for [child’s pseudonym] to build and maintain a caring and responsive relationship with [nominated non-parent – pseudonym] Our Actions For educators to provide opportunities for [child’s name] to …. Explanation of choice of Action: Strategies to address chosen action: 1.      Strategy 1:
Role of Adult in Strategy 1: Explanation of chosen strategy: Strategy 2:
Role of Adult in Strategy 2: Explanation of chosen strategy:

Task 6: Develop a shared understanding with peers

In the allocated discussion group online (you will find this in the tile labelled Infant and toddler socio-emotional development: the importance of attachment) post your recommendation for planning tables (from Task 5). Make very sure that there is nothing in what you post that identifies the child, family, community or service. Monitor the comments from your peers and respond.

PLEASE ensure that you post your material 2 weeks before the assignment is due. This will:

1: enable sufficient time for your peers to go online and provide you with relevant feedback

2: give you enough time to receive the feedback, reflect upon it, and complete your assignment.

You are required to respond to the postings of ALL of the members in your group. Remember to respond in a professional manner, and that your comments on other students’ postings may be chosen by them to include in their assignment. Try to make your comments constructive and useful. Giving blanket approval for a posting without any reflection is not helpful. There is information posted online to help you structure your feedback.

You are required to copy into your assignment the comments you have written about your peers’ postings so make sure you keep these copies.

I note that some groups are quite large whilst others are smaller. The expectation is that you will provide quality feedback to a MINIMUM of 5 peers and that the material you provide in your assignment will be your selection of the best 5 postings you have made (please see the information available on the Moodle site about how to provide quality feedback). I expect that even if you have completed your assignment you will check activity in your group so that even those peers who post late will be supported by other members of the group and receive feedback. 

You will present your postings in a section as follows: SECTION 6: MY FEEDBACK TO PEERS

Task 7: Reflect on your planning

Select 3 comments from the online discussion you found most useful and present these this section. Make sure the comments are properly attributed. Discuss these, identifying how they have influenced your thinking. You may want to talk about your initial thinking, as evidenced by quotes from your posting, and your later thinking, as evidenced by quotes from your assignment.  Ensure you reference the comments from the discussion (it is appropriate to reference these using the ‘personal communication’ format from your Referencing Guide). Did the discussion lead you to change your proposed plan? If yes, in what way and why? If not, explain.

You will present your peers’ postings and your reflection on these in a section as follows: SECTION 7: REFLECTION SECTION 7.1: MY PEERS’ POSTING SECTION 7.2: MY REFLECTIONS

Task 8: Factors impacting on relationship development

Use Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory to discuss the factors you see impacting on this specific child’s relationship with the parent and the relationship with the non-parent. This section requires you to relate ecological theory specifically to the child, family, service, community and society. Note that you are not asked for a general discussion about ecological theory. You are being asked to relate ecological theory to this specific child and the two adults used in your assignment. I want to see examples of the impact of each level of the system on the relationships between THIS CHILD and the adults.

You will present your discussion in a section as follows: SECTION 8: FACTORS IMPACTING ON RELATIONSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Task 9: Relation to theory

Critically analyse the theories relevant to this child’s emotional development and their application to understanding your target child’s emotional development. You MUST include Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory, Erikson’s theory and Attachment theory in this analysis. You may use other theories as relevant. Again I do not want a general discussion about these theories, I want you to apply the theories to this child and these adults.

Finish with a critical analysis of what this implies for high quality early childhood practice.

Please note that you are expected to use appropriate academic referencing, and to demonstrate you have read widely. See the Marking Rubric (LO4) for more detail. For a pass you are expected to have used, and appropriately cited from at least 3 sources. To obtain a Distinction or High Distinction you are expected to have used, and appropriately cited from sources beyond those provided to you with the unit materials.

You will present your discussion in a section as follows: SECTION 9: RELATION TO THEORY SECTION 9.1: THIS CHILD’S EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT SECTION 9.2: IMPLICATIONS FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD PRACTICE

Task 10: Compile your Reference List

Check that you have identified each source you cited in your assignment, and present your Reference List. Follow the instructions in the University Referencing Guide OR use APA6.

You are required to present your assignment in EXACTLY the format outlined below. You must use the headings provided and the numbering system provided. Where appropriate, word limits are identified. However, there are elements of the assignment where it is impossible to impose word limits and students are expected to write what is necessary to address the identified outcome(s).

 SECTION 1: ETHICS (no word count applicable)

SECTION 2: INTRODUCTION OF THE CHILD (200 words)

SECTION 3: OBSERVATIONS ADDRESSING THE OBSERVATION QUESTIONS (no word count applicable)

SECTION 3.1: THE CHILD AND THE PARENT

SECTION 3.2: THE CHILD AND THE NON-PARENT

SECTION 4: SUMMARY OF OBSERVATIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS (200 words)

SECTION 5: PLANNING (no word count applicable)

SECTION 5.1: RECOMMENDATION FOR PLANNING 1

SECTION 5.2: RECOMMENDATION FOR PLANNING 2

SECTION 6: MY FEEDBACK TO PEERS (no word count applicable)

SECTION 7: REFLECTION (200 words for Reflection – no word count applicable for postings)

SECTION 8: FACTORS IMPACTING ON RELATIONSHIP DEVELOPMENT (600 words)

SECTION 9: RELATION TO THEORY (600 words = the combination of 9.1 and 9.2)

SECTION 9.1: THIS CHILD’S EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT (400 words)

SECTION 9.2: IMPLICATIONS FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD PRACTICE (200 words)

SECTION 10: REFERENCE LIST

Section 1: Ethics

Section 2: Introduction of the child (200 words)

The subject of this study will be known by the pseudonym John. John is a 2 ½-year-old Black boy that attends Good life daycare in town. John will be turning three years old on July 31, 2017.  The boy’s parents are Jim (pseudonym), a 31-year-old male working at as a foreman in a local construction company and Faith (pseudonym), a 28-year-old female a high school teacher. The couple had been married for 5 years before John was born. The mother stresses that John is the center of their world being the only kid and the first grandchild for her parents. Before Jim got a job in the town, the family was living in the countryside and John was introduced to a new life including day care and a new environment. John spends most of the day at the daycare where he has made many friends among fellow kids and teachers. Any of his parents can drop or pick him at the day care depending on their individual schedules. John is very social and loves cartoons and playing video games. He likes ice cream and does not like to be denied things or being disciplined.

. Section 3: Observations addressing the observation questions

Section 3.1: The child and the parent

The observation was made on six separate occasions. Three times when the child was exclusive with each of the parents. The observations were made when the kid was being dropped and picked up from the daycare.

Observation  Interpretation  
Facial Expression  The parents always received the kid with open arms and a smile. John would always run towards his parents every time he saw them waiting. He would smile
Vocal expressionThe parents always spoke to the boy in warm, gentle, and adjusted voice. The voice attracted the kid’s attention as it was soothing to get him to cooperate.
Position and body contact  Jim always carried John to and from the vehicle. The kid carried his toys with him. Only on one occasion did the mother carry the kid from the daycare to the vehicle. Both parents exchanged pleasantries with the kid with a kiss whenever they met and left. The parents squatted to talk to the son with direct eye contact.
Expression of affection  The adults expressed affection with kisses and hugs. On some occasions, John was bought an ice cream before getting into the vehicle while leaving the day care. If the kid was not being carried, the parents would hold his hand.
Pacing of turns  The adult would turn and wave at the kid when leaving him in the daycare. The kid would also turn and wave back.
Control  The parents were committed to the kid’s demand where they would carry him when he wanted and made gestures that pleased him such as smiling, hugging, and kissing.
Choice of activity  The activities engaged by both adults were enjoyable and portrayed affection to the kid. The actions they initiated were focused on accommodating the kid in the environment they were moving into either the daycare or home.

Section 3.2: The child and the non-parent

The non-parent who interacted with the kid for six days a week was Mrs. Smith (Pseudonym). Being a professional, Mrs. Smith expressed professionalism in handling John and the other kids.

Observation  Interpretation
Facial Expression  Mrs. Smith always received all the kids from their parents individually in the morning and released them in the evening. She always smiled when receiving the children and engaged in short conversations that engaged the children and parents.
Vocal expression  Mrs. Smith’s voice was always adjusted depending on the kid she was talking to. For John, she was slow and gentle and often emulated the tone used by his mother.
Position and body contact  Mrs. Smith directs the kids where to go after the parents left. John seemed to be self-driven and had known the routine. Subsequently, she did not always notice the infant’s face after the parents had left. Throughout the day, Mrs. Smith and other attendants closely monitored the kids and how they played using their toys and those available in the institution…

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