What cognitive skills do you observe? What is the child’s stage of cognitive development?




Option 2 – Short Paper: Analyze Three Videos



The overall purpose of this assignment is to apply the principles of child development to the real world. The goals are to (1) enrich the material covered in class by observing, analyzing, and applying the research and theories of child development and (2) provide a deeper understanding of the abilities of young children.  This assignment asks you to view three YouTube video clips that are provided and analyze your observations in terms of the material covered in class this semester. The videos reflect children at different stages of development: 18-Month-Old (Sibs Playing), 3-Year-Old, and 7-Year-Old.  

Use the following as a guide for your analysis: Organize the paper in three sections, one for each video, and label each section. For each video include the following: 


1) A two- or three-sentence summary of what’s going on in the video. 


2) What cognitive skills do you observe? What is the child’s stage of cognitive development? Support your conclusions with specific material you observe in the videos. Analyze the child’s vocalizations, vocabulary, language, and behavior. . How do Vygotsky’s and Piaget’s theory apply? 


                In the video of the sibs playing look for sensorimotor play.

                In the video of the preschool, can you determine if the children are thinking logically? Do you see evidence of preoperational thinking? What type of activity do you see? Support your conclusions with examples from the clips. 

                In the video of the 7-year-old child, analyze his level of cognitive development as indicated by his language and actions


3) What social skills do you observe?  Do you observe gender-typed behavior? If there are adults present, what is the children’s relationship with parents or teachers?  What is the relationship with siblings or friends (if present)?  Is there cooperation or competition among friends or siblings? Do you see empathy or altruistic behavior?  Are the behaviors what you would expect for their stage of development? What type of play is evident, if any?


4) What is the child’s emotional state:  facial expressions, gestures, vocalizations? What emotions are being displayed? What led to these emotions?

                In the video of the 18-month old child (sibs playing), how do they express his independence; and do they show signs of autonomy? Give examples. How does the mother guide them? 

                For the preschoolers, how do the teacher’s words and actions organize the children’s actions?

                In the clip of the older boy, how would you describe his sense of self? 


5) In no more than one paragraph, describe the child’s fine and gross motor abilities. Notice the  children’s motor coordination (what they can do; what they can’t do).


Remember: You should interpret what was going on and relate your observations to the research and theories in child development that we covered during the semester. You will be graded on how well you relate your analysis to theories or research. Do not say “Maria is very smart for her age.” Or, “Michael does well in sports.”


The paper should be 600-750 words or 3 typed pages, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins. Do not include a title page. 



GRADING CRITERIA: The aim is for you to apply the concepts learned in class and through your readings. You will be graded on how well you relate your analysis to theories or research.   You should relate your analysis to specific theories, research, and approaches used in child development covered this semester. You should use the text, PowerPoints, and class notes as references. Do not use other books or references. Papers should be coherently organized and easy to follow. Writing should be clear and concise. Paper should be spell-checked and proofread, and should have no errors and no slang. 

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