G. Pate – Domain Snapshot
Purpose of Paper and Overview
The following documentation is a summary of my recent observational data. The setting in which I recorded this data is a preschool classroom which is housed in a K-8th grade elementary school building. The program operates on a full day schedule from arrival at 8:45am until dismissal at 3:45pm. There are 20 children ages 3-5 years old enrolled in the program along with the teacher and teacher’s assistant. The room has visibly, defined areas for play and includes a restroom for the children, a separate area for cubbies and personal belongings, an additional child-sized sink in the classroom, and a storage room for materials. The purpose of this paper is to provide a snapshot of the social/emotional development domain, using the observations in which I recorded while observing in the dramatic play area. I will also include some theory and research to further explain my observations.
Introduction to the Domain
“Positive social and emotional development in the preschool years will provide an essential foundation for cognitive and academic competence, not only in preschool but also in later years (DAP, 2009, pg. 120).” Emotional and social development is one of the three major domains of development. In the preschool period, this domain includes aspects of children’s sense of self; their social interactions and relationships with peers and teachers; friendships; aggression and other behaviors; and development of prosocial behavior. Emotional and social development can be more adequately defined as “changes in emotional communication, self-understanding, knowledge about other people, interpersonal skills, friendships, intimate relationships, and moral reasoning and behavior (Berk & Meyers, 2016, pg.5).” For this snapshot, I observed a group of preschool aged children playing and engaging with one another in the dramatic play area of the classroom. The teacher allowed no more than six children to play in this area during a selected time period. If a child decided that they wanted to leave dramatic play to explore another area, or if another child wanted to come into the area, the teacher would ring a bell and assist the children in making the necessary adjustments. The activities that took place in the dramatic play area were completely child-directed and voluntary.
Discussion of Observations
I had the privilege of observing a group of preschool children ranging in ages from 3-5 during their free play time. The duration of my observation was 60 minutes. I chose to observe their interactions in the dramatic play area as I felt it would provide me with relevant data in the emotional and social domain. Initially, the children welcomed my presence and included me in their play several times. This was my first indication of peer relations. “The capacity to form mutually rewarding friendships, cooperate with peers, and bu...