Constructing A Case Study
Use many specific examples from your notes indicating your subject’s behaviors and developmental level in various areas. Remember, it is extremely important that the conclusions you draw in this paper be richly supported by your observations. And because of the Pandemic, these observations can be those of the Parent or Guardian that you interview.
Your case study will follow an outline form. You will copy every number, letter, and underlined topic onto your paper, followed by your own material. (Double space between the six major categories. Single space the information within that topic.) EACH SECTION HAS SEVERAL TOPICS AND QUESTIONS LISTED. YOU SHOULD INCLUDE ALL OF THEM.Give specific examples and details of what you saw and heard your subject do and say that let you know about his/her developmental level, skills, personality, etc. If you were unable to observe certain behaviors or skills during your observation hours, indicate this on that item. Most areas will be easily observed during this time.
USE ONLY THE MADE UP FIRST NAME OF YOUR SUBJECT & OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR PAPER. Do not include real names.
USE COLLEGE-QUALITY WRITING SKILLS. Use complete sentences, proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Proofread your work for typographical and spelling errors. Use a dictionary. Use Spell Check and Grammar Check if using a word processor. Poorly-written papers are more difficult to grade than well-written papers. UP TO 10 POINTS WILL BE DEDUCTED FOR THESE ERRORS.
Note: You need to copy/print the following outline for guidance. You can highlight and copy the outline, then paste it in a word processing document.
OUTLINE OF YOUR CASE STUDY
- GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE CHILD
A. Demographic information: Give information about your subject. Identify subject’s gender, age, race/ethnicity (actual or presumed), and socio-economic situation if known or can be accurately presumed. Share any information regarding developmental milestones (sitting, crawling, walking, and speaking) that you are aware of. Also include unusual information noted by the family, teacher, staff etc. (health problem, etc.). Look for items that may explain your subject’s behavior, reinforce what you’ve seen, or contradict what you’ve noticed. The subject may act one way at home, another way at school or may be growing out of a stage, maturing, developing, or changing.
B. Physical description: Give a complete physical description of the subject. Discuss height and body build in comparison to other people the same age, hair color and style, and any other distinguishing features. Mention if there is any knowledge of physical issues and whether the subject receives any physical or occupational therapies.
C. Cognitive & Language description: describe any cognitive observations or information received, such as if the subject receives special education services, is below, at, or above grade/age level in various subjects, intelligence testing results (if known), or any labels of cognitive deficits (mental retardation, etc.). Mention subject’s ability to use language appropriate for their age, babbling, use of signing language, if they speak a second language or if English is not their first language, as well as if the subject receives any speech or language services.
D. Social/Emotional description: identify subject’s family dynamic (who lives in household, parents, siblings, spouse, etc.). Also identify if the subject has any known or identified social/emotional deficits (labeled with ADD, attachment disorder, mental health issues, etc.) and whether the subject receives any counseling or support groups for these issues.
E. Selection of subject. State your reasons for selecting this particular subject.
F. Setting. Give a description of the setting(s) in which subject was observed.
- MOTOR DEVELOPMENT
A. Gross (large) motor skills. Describe the types of gross motor skills the subject engaged in and how his/her performance compared to other the same age. [Ie. walking, running, jumping, climbing, throwing, catching, riding a tricycle, swinging, hopping, galloping, skipping, dancing, gymnastics skills (balancing, etc.), and any other skills observed]
B. Fine (small) motor skills. Describe the types of fine motor activities your subject engaged in and tell how his/her performance compared to other the same age. [Ie. handling small objects, pincer grasp (using the thumb and index finger to pick up objects), eating, buttoning, zipping, tying shoelaces, dressing, undressing, working puzzles, cutting, pasting, coloring, painting, manipulating blocks, hand motions to songs, and any other skills observed].
- COGNITIVE & LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
(Use specific examples for each area.)
A. Piaget’s stages of cognitive development. In observing your subject, determine which stage and substage, your subject is in, according to Jean Piaget’s theory. Give specific examples, reasons for your answer.
B. Stages of Language Development. Identify the stage of language development appropriate for this subject, with examples.
IV. SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
A. Play. What types of play does your subject engage in, if applies? Give specific examples of each type–1 practice, 2 pretense/symbolic, 3 social, 4 constructive [this is making or building something–2- or 3-dimensional art, puzzles, blocks, legos, sand castles, etc.], 5 games. Also describe the % of time spent engaged in Parten’s play interactions (onlooker, associative, cooperative, etc.) Tell which ones he/she does not use. Is this age-appropriate? What have you observed the subject learning from play? What gender differences in play activities have you noticed (activities, toys)?
B. Interactions with peers. Give examples of each behavior. How does your subject interact with other people their age? How is he/she a follower or a leader? How does he/she influence the others, if at all? When & how is the subject friendly, cooperative, hostile, outgoing, withdrawn? Does the subject engage in aggressive behavior? When? why? to whom? and how? How does the subject react to aggression expressed by others? Who does the subject spend the most time with? How do the others react to this subject? Does the subject express sympathy to others or help them in any way? What types of relationships does the subject have (friends, spouse, live-in partner, etc.)?
C. Interactions with other age groups (adults or older children).
a. Parents. Describe the parent-subject interaction if observed. Was the subject’s behavior different when the parent was there? How? How did the parent relate to the subject? What was said?
b. Teachers. Does the subject have a favorite teacher? How does the subject relate to various adults in the room–lead teacher, aide, subject development students, other visitors? Compared to the others, how well does the subject listen & follow the teachers’ requests and instructions? Is the subject clingy, dependent or independent? How do the teachers react to this subject? How do the teachers deal with problems concerning this subject? What methods of guidance and control are used with all Children? Tone of voice? How are positive actions reinforced? How do the teachers help this subject learn? How much attention does this subject get from teachers?
hildren. If the subject is an adult, how do they act toward children? Are the supportive and nurturing? Are they a disciplinarian? Are they a parent, if so what parenting style do they utilize more often?
D. Erikson’s theory of personality development (psychosocial stages).In observing your subject, determine which stage, or stages, your subject is in, according to Erik Erkison’s theory. Give specific examples and reasons for your answer.
E. Emotions. Describe the emotions that your subject expressed. Does he/she cry easily? Become frustrated? Indicate that he/she is happy, mad, sad, hurt, etc.? (Give specific examples of
situations for each.) Do they have good emotion regulation?
F. Self-esteem. How would you describe the self-esteem of the subject–high, low, average, a combination? Identify their self-esteem type based on the 4 discussed in class/text. What have you observed that causes you to draw this conclusion?
VI. DEVELOPMENTAL SUMMARY
A. Developmental evaluation. Summarize how the child is doing in each area—social/ emotional, cognitive, physical development. In what areas is your subject most advanced for his/her age? Which abilities are least developed? Which areas are average? Why do you think so?
B. Theoretical Formulation. (This will provide support for your recommendations).A stage is a period in development in which people exhibit typical behavior patterns and establish particular capacities. Identify and explore three theories of child development that describe your subject. Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson, Jean Piaget, and Lawrence Kohlberg describe development as a series of stages. You may also explore: Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory, Bandura’s Social Learning Theory, Bowlby’s or Ainsworth’s Attachment Theories, and Behavioral Child Development Theories, etc.
C. Programming. Consider any programs, education, institutions with whom the subject has involvement (day care, school, college, work, social groups, therapies, none, etc.). Do you think the subject’s current program is meeting their needs? Which needs? Why or why not?
D. Recommendations. What kinds of activities, experiences, or services would you plan to help foster his/her development?
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