• Observe a human person, using the knowledge gained in class and from readings.
• Analyze what was observed using the assigned growth and development theory appropriate for the person observed.


• Select a person between the age of 12 months and older age (over 65yrs).
• Observe the subject in their natural environment. The observation can be done at a day care center, nursery school, playground, school, recreation center, job setting, senior center, or in the home.
• The observer should not be responsible for the individual’s care at the time of the observation.

Guidelines for the observation:

• Prior to the observation, read about growth and development of the age group you will be observing focusing on one specific aspect of development.
• Use the Denver Developmental Screening Test or other standardized measures appropriate for the person you have selected to observe to help focus your observation.
• Take paper, pen and a watch with you for making notes and timing activities during the observation. .
• Do not join in the activities. You are an observer.
• Describe what you observe. Be as objective as possible.
• Write a rough draft of your observations immediately from your notes in order to be accurate and comprehensive.

Guidelines for Written Assignment- Description:

• Based on the observation of the person, write an eight to ten page, typed paper which describes the person’s behavior.
• You should describe all aspects of the behaviors for the following developmental areas:
physical, psychosocial, emotional, moral and cognitive.
• You should analyze your subject’s behaviors according to developmental theorists discussed in class and assigned readings from text, as appropriate for subject’s developmental level e.g. Erickson, Gesell, Kohlberg, Mahler, Maslow, Neugarten, and Piaget
Guidelines for written assignment:

1. Start with an introduction that describes the setting in which the observation took place and individuals interacting with the subject.
2. The first part of the paper should begin with a description of what the individual did during your observation.

3. Include the subject’s exact age, height, weight, physical appearance, actions, verbalizations, emotions, type of play/activity and the way in which the subject related to others and to objects in the environment.

4. The second part of the paper should analyze the observations of the subject. Compare specific examples of the person’s behavior with the expected “norms” for that age group from readings (text and/or other references).

Include in the analysis:

1. Physical (Gesell or Growth Charts and Textbook References)
a. What is the child’s level of physical development?
b. Are there any development spurts or delays, declining ability?
c. How does the physical development influence play, school, work other activities?

2. Psychosocial (Erickson)
a. What stage of psychosocial development was observed:
b. What is the critical task for the stage and how was it expressed in play and
interpersonal relationships?

3. Cognitive (Piaget)
a. What is the subject’s stage of cognitive development?
b. How does level of cognitive development influence the individual’s
behavior in: play, language, relations with others, etc. ?

4. Object Relations (Mahler)
a. Where is the child in the separation-individuation process?

5. Hierarchy of Needs (Maslow)
a. Describe level of need from pyramid.

6. Moral Development (Kohlberg, Piaget)
a. Describe value systems and any behaviors observed related to this area.