Observing At Play Essay

Watching Anna play, I did think of her goals and what she was trying to create through her thought and actions, and I did think of Piaget’s (1973) theory on children’s cognitive development.

Again, I had to challenge my assumptions on stages of Piaget’s theory as they are not fixed and concrete in any child.

On several occasions, children came up to me bringing toys, books and requests to go to the toilet, and at one point, a young child stood in front of me for what seemed like a very long time.

I replied only briefly to the children and avoided eye contact when possible.

At that moment, I thought of how unique and complex children are as they do not have the language to explain how they think and explore the world that surrounds them.

By slowing down and observing them, we have the advantage and a willingness to speculate.

The setting was a group of 12 children of mixed sexes, all of mixed abilities such as physical and learning difficulties.

The group was well staffed (by women) with some children having one to one support.

In the room with Anna, I had to contain my feelings around the observation.

Anna continued throughout my observation to drift from one activity to the next.


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