Observe a group of children in an organized childcare situation. It may be a school, preschool, day care (family or center-based). Spend at least 30 minutes at the site – take more time if you need it. It may help to jot down what you see and hear at first. Start with the obvious: the setting – what does it look like, what kind of furniture, props, space. Then, move on to interactions, behaviors, and words of children and adults. You may need these observations to refer to as you put your paper together.
Use your observation findings to put together a 2-3 page report that answers the questions below. Support your answers with information from the Miller or Faber texts as it applies to each question.
Put your name, course name and class # on your paper.
In your narrative report, please address the following:
1. Date and location of your observation, approximate number of children and ages of children.
April 14th, Camarillo Christian Preschool, 13 children ages “late threes” to four.
2. Define and explain prosocial behavior. Why is prosocial behavior important?
Nancy Eisenberg, a leading researcher in the area of prosocial behavior, and her coauthors describe prosocial behavior as "voluntary behavior intended to benefit another" (Eisenberg, Fabes, & Spinrad 2006). Prosocial behavior is important because it allows children and adults to interact together in such a way that it produces situations with positive outcomes. It also helps children develop cognitive competencies and emotional competency which in return helps sharpen their special prosocial behavior skills.
3. Describe and explain how the physical environment supported or inhibited prosocial behavior?
4. What specific examples of prosocial behaviors were exhibited by children? (Describe 3 behaviors and tell how they relate to the text definition of prosocial).
Some of the prosocial behaviors that I witnessed included cooperating, including others in play, giving a compliment, and comforting a child who is upset. For this particular section I focused on the children while they played house in the kitchen area.
5. How did adults influence or encourage prosocial behaviors?
I witnessed the Educators use terms such as "empathy," "sharing," "compassion," "helping others," "compromise," "respect for others," and "hugging other children" to describe prosocial behavior to the children.
6. Communication is an essential part of prosocial behavior. Give (3) examples of communication (verbal/non-verbal) that was used prosocially, or either encouraged or inhibited prosocial behavior.
7. What did you learn about creating a prosocial environment from this observation that you might incorporate into your own classroom or home?
*Answer each question individually, with separate examples:
You observed a child exhibiting prosocial behavior by showing empathy to another child. She walks over to a child who is crying and says, “Are you sad? Let me give you a hug.”
Although this example includes communication, credit will only be given for #4 or #6; the same example cannot be credited for both questions unless fully answered and addressed separately.
* Support your answers with examples, full explanations, research and/or text readings.
* Cite/reference all sources throughout paper and in your bibliography.
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