PSY 330 Assignment:
Observation #1, Infant or Toddler Play as Interpreted
by Piaget’s Theory (Due Oct. 13)
The purpose of this assignment is to help you apply to real life what you learn in this class.
Length = approximately 1 page, single spaced.
These papers will be graded as √ (ok), √+
(excellent) or √- (poor).
A late paper will automatically be considered a √-.
This paper is worth
8% of your total grade.
Select an infant or toddler aged 1 month to 36 months. If possible, describe what the child does
with an object when it is first presented.
Include in your description what other people (if any)
interacting with the child do.
The typical observation will describe about 5 minutes of
though it might be more or less, depending on the child and the setting. You can simply observe
the child or you can hand the child objects (their toys or other safe objects). Handing the child an
object he/she has never seen before can make for an interesting observation.
You may want to
place a set of objects in front of the baby or place an object in front of the child and after he/she
tires of it hand the child another toy, and so on.
The paper can either cover one child or several children. You may observe a child that you know
(e.g., child of a relative, friend, or neighbor) or, if you do not have access to such children, you
can observe in a public space (e.g., mall, restaurant, playground).
Follow ethical behavior
example, if you are in a public space observing children, simply observe these public behaviors;
don’t intrude on their space. If you are handing a child an object unfamiliar to him, check with
the parents that it is safe (e. g., has no small parts on which the child could choke).
Provide a detailed description of behavior recorded in a sequential manner as it happens.
Describe the sequence of behaviors over a short period of time (a few minutes) or several events
that occur over a few hours.
Who (age and gender of child)
Where (the setting—home, mall, restaurant)
What the child did
Then interpret the behaviors according to Piaget’s theory of infant cognitive development during
the sensori-motor period or the early part of the preoperational period.
Be specific about which
behaviors led to which interpretation. Draw on material from your textbook, the lectures and
videos on Piaget, and information presented below. Specifically, you’ll explain how each
behavior reveals the child’s sensorimotor knowledge, according to Piaget. Thus, your paper is
more than a description of the actions you observed; it also is an explanation of these behaviors.
You’ll be addressing: How does this play activity contribute to development according to Piaget?
What is the child learning as a result of each behavior? How do these behaviors reflect Piaget’s