Elementary Education

Observers and Educators

We enjoy sharing the experience of young children’s learning with you, however we ask that you respect this privilege. We have many visitors to the Child Study Centre and our space is limited so we have outlined a few suggestions to help minimize the impact of your presence in the Centre.

Try to remain as unobtrusive as possible:

  • Arrive in time to introduce yourself to the staff before the children arrive
  • Find an unobtrusive place from which to observe
  • Sit so that you are at eye level with the children
  • Be sensitive to the number of adults in the area
  • Don’t talk to other adults except for necessary directions or clarifications. Spend time observing or interacting with children rather than conversing with other adults.

Some hints for note taking:

  • Take as many notes as possible
  • Use all your senses
  • Try to capture exact dialogue
  • Try to capture as much nonverbal interaction and body language as possible
  • Observe from different vantage points
  • Be aware of the total environment
  • Sketches are sometimes more effective and faster than words
  • Try to get into the children’s framework/viewpoint as much as possible
  • Try to be as objective as possible

The children’s rights supersede your observer rights. Be respectful of the children. Please don’t discuss them in their presence. Please don’t discuss your observations outside the class. If you observe anything that causes you grave concern we ask that you share your observations with a staff member as soon as circumstances allow. We as adults have so much that we can learn from children if we allow ourselves to relax and open our minds, senses, and eyes.

“Children communicate with us through their eyes, the quality of their voices, their body postures, their gestures, their mannerism, their listlessness. They show us, by the way they do things as well as what they do, what is going on inside them. When we come to see children’s behaviour through the eyes of it’s meaning to them, from the inside out, we shall be well on our way to understand them.” D.H. Cohen, V. Stern, N. Balaban. 1983

Observers forms

Please visit our Forms Cabinet for the Observation/Involvement Request form.