2-Pane Combined
Full Summaries Sorted

LUTE-STEM Description of Christian

Descriptive Review of Christin

Context of Study

All my life I have been drawn to children and vice versa. I started building my knowledge of children from working at a daycare many years ago for over six years. And there is where I picked up many flawed notions of what it takes to be an early childhood educator. As I continue to educate myself on proper ways to teach children, I find myself and my educational philosophy maturing. Creating an environment that is child-centered is the basis of my educational philosophy. As an early childhood educator, it is my job to create a curriculum that is developmentally appropriate for the individualized student the class as a whole. I was able to develop much of my educational philosophy from observing children.

It was such a delight to have been able to observe Christin. I learned so much from watching him explore the world around him. I first met Christin in a Montessori School in Harlem, New York. This is a privately ran Montessori School in the basement level of a brownstone. When you enter the school you walk directly into the cubby area. There are two sets of cubbies alongside both walls as you enter the school. All of the children that go here have to take off their outside shoes and put on their school crocs in order to enter the learning area. The first opening on the right leads to the learning area which is an open space that allows the children to move about easily and also explore the larger learning materials. Once you enter the center to the left is used to learn math and have group discussions. There is a window that looks out to the street and a couch with a basket of books on the floor. Going counter clockwise is the teacher’s desk. Next to that is another basket with mats that the children use to do the large math activities on the carpeted floor. To section off this area of the room there is a long two-level shelf with math learning materials. There are more shelves with math learning materials alongside the wall opposite the teacher’s desk. When you walk out of that area you enter another area that is used for eating lunch, doing smaller activities that can be done on the desks. There are four rectangular desks placed in this area. The wall opposite the entrance to the learning area is lined with shelves and filled with all sorts of sensorial, and language learning materials. Across from these shelves there is an apron sink that the children use to wash their dishes and eating utensils. These items can be found in the practical life area on shelves nest to the sink. There is also a space between the last desk and the window in the back that is also carpeted and is used to do yoga. In this area of the classroom there is a doorway that leads to a small kitchen. The window in the back of the classroom overlooks a garden and a chicken coop. There are no chickens in the coop at the moment because there was a raccoon that had dug a hole into the coop. Luckily the director noticed the hole and took the chickens home so they would not become dinner.

Christin was recommended to me by the director of the school to observe. I was told that he is a smart student and also very kind and that I would have a good time and be able to collect valuable information from him. I was also informed that Christin was not a new face to the school. Last year he only came part time but this year he is attending school as a full-time student. Christin is a four-year-old English speaking African American boy of average weight and height. He lives at home with both parents and a younger sister. His younger sister does not attend school and is cared for by a nanny during the day.

Physical Presence and Gestures

Question: How can I help Christin strengthen his verbal learning skills so that he can become a stronger learner?

Christin is a four-year-old African American boy who is about normal built and height. He was wearing camo pants with red Cars (characters from the movie Cars) crocs and a short sleeved grey shirt with a basketball on the front. He has a round face with gorgeous dark eyelashes and round brown eyes. He has chubby cheeks that get bigger when he smiles and has black hair that is cut low.

When I walked into the school I did not notice him right away. The first time I noticed him was when I looked up from writing and saw this handsome little boy standing next to me holding a paper. He did not say anything to me, just smiled and stared curiously at me. After a few seconds of standing there he held out his hands holding the drawing he had made. I asked if this was for me and he nodded and softly said yes. When I took the paper from him I saw that this did not have his name on it. I then asked if he knew how to write his name, he shook his head yes and smile at me again. I tried handing him back the paper and the pen I was using to write with so he can use it. But instead of taking the pen and paper back to a desk to write his name he just held onto the tip of my pen using his thumb and index finger looking down at his art work. Asked if he knew how to spell his name and I wrote his name on the paper while he held onto the tip. When I was done writing his name he let go of the pen and giggled smiling big and the paper with his name on it. Stepped back and admired his work some more then ran off.

He walked around the room eyeing the different activities thinking about which one he wants to do. Skipped over to the front of the classroom to where there were many of his classmates working on a floor activity. As he got closer to the area his eyes got wider with excitement because many of his classmates were over there. When he got there he was told by the adult in that section that there were too many children over here and that he needs to find something else to do on the other side of the classroom. He slowly walked back to the other side of the room with his lips pursed tightly together in deep concentration about what to do next. His eyes moved around the room gently and from child to child to see where he can fit in.

Christin walked to the shelf and used both hands to grab a box that was about four to six inches in height and three inches in width. He then walked slowly to the nearest table placing the box gently upon it. Stood directly behind the chair and using both is hands pulled it out and sat down. Both of his feet were placed on the floor and his back was straight not touching the back of the chair. With both hands he took the lid off and then proceeded to take out the objects within the big box. Picked up a pocket mirror and opened it. When the sunlight reflected off the mirror is eyes opened wide in excitement. As he moved the mirror around and followed the light with his eyes he periodically moved his lips as if speaking to himself but no words came out. He also moved his legs in no particular motion as be played with the reflection from the mirror.

All of a sudden, he quickly but gently starts to put the objects back into the big box one by one. Stands and then pushes in his chair the same way he pulled it out and picks up the box using two hands walks over to the shelf and put it down. He runs at a slow pace with his hands close to his chest to the other side of the room, looks around then runs back to the side he just came from. As mention in chapter 10, “[i]t is impossible to keep children from running. Whenever children are given opportunities to move around freely…much running will occur” (Trawick, 2014, p. 218).

Christin was hungry and so he got a tray with a plate and two crackers and a container filled with butter. Holds the butter knife in right hand with index finger and thumb. According to Trawick, Christin is exercising his fine motor skills when he “spread[s] food with a knife” (Trawick, 2014, p.224). Takes the knife and dips it into the butter container and takes out a little and tries to spread it onto the crackers. The butter does not spread well. Holds the cracker with his left hand using his thumb and index finger to pick it up. Bites the cracker while closing his eyes and smiling. Chews his food with his mouth closed. After he eats those two crackers he gets up to get two more crackers. Another child sat at the same table as Christin and started talking to him. When speaking to other children Christin looks at them directly in the eyes. He is a soft-spoken child who smiles while he talks.

After Christin is done eating, he takes his plate and knife to the sink to wash it. Picks up the blue sponge and drops it into the water. Plays in the water for a while before washing the plate and knife. Bends down so that his face is eyelevel to the sink while his hand and part of his arm is in the water. He moves his arm around causing the water to move. Smiles and decided to move his arm faster causing some of the water to spill out. Looks at the closest adult with wide eyes and an oops expression to see if he would be scolded for playing in the water. Picks up the sponge again and hold it above his head and squeezes it looking in awe with his mouth partly opened watching the water roll down his arm. He finally washes his dishes. When drying the plate, he takes the towel and rolls it on the plate while moving it in an up and down motion until he is satisfied that he has done a good job.

He runs/gallops to the director of the program and tells her that he needs to change his shirt. She did not hear him at first because she is talking to another child. He slightly shakes his whole body when he does not get a response from her and says it again. He has his right hand in a fist and his left hand is open holding his fist.

After he changes his shirt he runs/gallops back into the room and to the window looking into the back yard. Stepped up on the stool one foot at a time looking out the window. After a few moments of standing there he begins to bounce up and down on the stool bent over with his elbow on the window sill. Twice the stool fell over while he was standing on it because he did not position himself in the middle. Looked up at the adults in the room wide eyed and then bent over to pick the stool up. He then stood on the stool again this time standing on his left leg while holding his right leg out shaking it around for a few moments before standing on his tippy toes. He hops down and runs over to an adult and then over to an area where there were napkins in a box. Took the box of napkins over to the table and begins to fold them in the shape of diamonds by taking the napkin with his right hand and placing it onto the table. He holds the napkin with his left hand while with his right hand takes the corner of the napkin and folds it over.

Disposition and Temperament

Temperament can be described as the child’s nature, or their personality. In observing Christin, I found that he has an easy temperament. According to Trawick, a child with “…an easy temperament [has] sunny dispositions, are friendly around strangers, and easily consoled” (Trawick, 2014, p. 201). Christin displays all of those attributes and is a joy to be around. I remember the first time that I came to his school to observe him, he came up to me to give me a picture that he made with a huge smile on his face. Christin body language is another indicator of his temperament. Christin smiles all the time when talking to others or when doing his school work. When interacting with other students he is very friendly and polite and the other children like being around him. Even when he moves around the room from activity to activity he is either skipping or running, always with that huge smile on his face.

Unlike many children, Christin is very easy to console. I also remember one time when all of the students were sitting on the floor in a circle and the teacher had asked him to put away the crayons first before they began their discussion. When he got up to put the crayons away another child sat in his seat. Finding the other child in his spot made him sad because he was forced to set in a different spot. He was so upset about the situation that he began to cry. Christin’s crying was very soft and if you were not looking at him you would not know that he was crying. On his own accord, he got up top get tissues to dry his face with tears still streaming silently down his face. Another teacher saw that he was upset and motioned for him to come to her. They exchanged words and she gave him a moderately long hug which is all he needed to feel better.

Christin also has an active temperament. Trawick states, that a child with an active temperament “shows a need for constant motion. Wiggles and bangs objects. Constantly seeks interaction and stimulation” (Trawick, 2014, p. 201). When observing Christin, I found that he has high energy levels and can not be still for long. When sitting at the table doing his work he is constantly moving his legs. Even when he is sitting on the floor he is playing with his hands or wiggling his body. Today for example we went to the MET and the children gathered at the foot of the statue to listen to the presenter. After sitting still for literally a minute he started playing with his hands.

Christin gets along well with all of the other children in his school because he has such an easy-going temperament. I was told by the teachers that there is this one girl that he is very fond of. Her name is Zoe and he is “in love” with her. He awaits her arrival to school and when she does arrive his face lights up. Today at the MET they were buddies and every time they had to pair back up he would smile and run to her to grab her hand. Part way through the tour His partner went with the other teacher and when it was time to buddy up he went looking for her. When he was told that he had to buddy up with a teacher you could see the happiness drain from his face as he grabs her hand. At the end of the tour while we were walking back to get our coats and his buddy returned. He turned around and saw her and immediately his face lit up and he expended his free hand for hers.

Connections with Others

From the first time that I meet Christin I knew that he was going to be a joy to observe. Because of his easy-going temperament, he gets along very well with others. I find Christin to be “…emotionally healthy [and is] better able to enter into positive relationships with both peers and adults” (Trawick, 2014, p. 312). I remember asking the director of the program to describe the type of child Christin was. Her eyes lit up as she began to tell me how “he is so polite and kind to others and would be really enjoyable for me to observe.” In observing him I have come to find out for myself just how much of a gentle smart young man Christin is. And am able to see how well he gets along with all he encounters.

In this program children have the option of working alone or with other children in a group. When doing school work, I find that Christin enjoys spending his time working alone. But if a child comes along and sits at his table, he is more then happy to start up a conversation with them. Christin engages in parallel play when playing with other children. Parallel play is when “children pursue activities side by side with peers but rarely interact or speak to them” (Trawick, 2016, p. 321). One day we went to the park for the children to play in the playground. Christin ran off and decided to play on the slide. Leaves littered the ground and one of the children decided to make a leaf house and began collecting the leaves and dumping them in a big pile. While running back to the slide he saw what the child was doing and decided to help. Without asking he began to run around the playground collecting leaves and dumping them in the pile.

So far, I have yet to see him react harshly to any student even when he may be the person wronged. One day all the children were sitting in a circle on the floor and Christin had to get up to put something back in its proper place. By the time he returned to the circle another child had taken his spot. He was told by the teacher to find another spot to sit in without realizing that he had the spot first. Instead of throwing a tantrum because he cannot sit there, he put his head down and began to cry as he walked to another spot to sat down. Christin’s crying was different from how most children would react in this situation. If you were not directly looking at him you would not have known he was crying. He just sat there for a minute with tears rolling down his face sniffling and then got up on his own accord to get a tissue to wipe his face. As he was wiping his face another teacher saw that he was upset and called him over to console him with hugs and by the time he made it back to his spot on the floor it was as if nothing happened. I find Christin to be effective in conflict resolution because he able to “resolve conflicts in nonaggressive ways that are satisfying to all involved” (Trawick, 2016, p. 315). In this case instead of getting upset at the child who took his seat he instead chose to cry to release his frustration to calm himself. I was also told by the director that at times Christin has been known to express altruistic behavior by trying to sooth those who may be upset with hugs or saying a few kind words to try to make them feel better. I was also told that he is very empathic.

I would consider Christin to be social competent because he is “…liked by others and [has] skills to interact effectively in social settings” (Trawick, 2014, p. 314). During lunch time is when I find Christin to be the most sociable. Before lunch, one of the children set the tables with plates, silverware and the lunch boxes of those individuals who brought theirs. This allows the children to be able to sit with different classmates each day to converse. For the duration of lunch Christin and the others take turns telling each other what they have for lunch and what they are going to eat first as well as telling stories that leave them all laughing.

Strong Preference and Abiding Interest

In observing Christin, I have yet to uncover his true interest besides those of an average three-year-old. When asked what he likes he was at a loss for words. I gave him an example of one of my interest and reason why and it still took him a long time to think of something. I was told an arbitrary list of snow, making snowballs, Black Panther, broccoli and salads, and the color red. When asked what he does not, he could not even fathom a thought. I gave another example, because I know that he needs to be given examples, but still silence. It shocked me for a while that he could not think of one thing that he did not like. After some time, it all made sense. Christin has a very easy-going temperament and unless someone or something is causing he immediate discomfort, there is not much Christin does not like. From gathering that list, I also found out two other things that he likes. One of them is talking, because he can go off on tangents when he does start talking. And the other is drawing; because while we were sitting there he had scrap paper in front of him and a crayon and as he talked he would doodle and practice writing letters or draw. When Christin talks about things that he is excited about his eyes gets wide and he wiggles a lot. It’s as if every inch of his body is just as excited as he is.

Since I could not get a meaningful list of likes and dislikes, I asked his teachers. I told them of our interaction from the morning and they were not surprised at my findings. I was informed that his current caregiver, though very nice and Christin is fond of her, does not communicate enough with him. She has an authoritarian relationship with him and she mainly communicates with him to give orders. I wonder if this relationship negatively affects his views of what is appropriate for him to like/do? If his caregiver was more engaging and was more curious about Christin’s interest would his list have been different? The good thing about Christin is that he is such a sweet boy that you can easily introduce him to new things and he will dive in. Today, the science teacher came into class to finish up a lesson on insects. The discussed the different parts of an insect and how some insects are similar and different from one another. As a special treat he brought edible grasshoppers and mealworms for the children to eat. Many of the children did not want to eat the insects but to my surprise Christin was one of the students that was eager to eat the edible insects. At first he was hesitant of trying them but changed his mind after he saw that some of the other students tried it. In fact, he along with one other girl practically ate most of them.

An interest of Christin’s, even though he did not mention it before, is the use of his large muscles. Christin enjoys going to the park and playing with his friends. Sometimes the children get together to form a game to play but most times they spend their time running chasing each other. “Open-ended chasing is a common running game played on American playgrounds” (Trawick, 2014, p. 218). Christin also enjoys symbolic thought which “is the ability to use symbols- whether words, scribbles, toys…to represent ideas” (Trawick, 2014, p. 272). When trying uncover his likes and dislikes he drew a “egg” and preceded to tell me a story of how the chick hatched from the egg drawing more pictures as the story get on. To help Christin discover his interest, this program can use a dramatic play area. This area will allow him as well as other children to partake in a more complex form of playing.

In observing Christin, I have come to notice that when teaching him new things, he does not give up easily and stays committed to the task until he has mastered it. In the classroom there are raised leaf shaped stencils that you have to color over to get the impression of the leaf onto the paper. Christin’s first attempt at doing it he colored over the stencil in a circular motion and was not pressing down hard enough for the impression to come out clear. I verbally gave him some tips on what he could do differently so when he did it again this time he would be able to see the leaf. Christin shook his head as though he understood me and attempted to give it another try. His second attempt was much like his first except he did press down heard but you could not clearly see the leaf. I found a piece of paper and showed him exactly what I meant. He sat there watching me and was amazed at the end when he was able to clearly see the leaf. He eagerly picked up another stencil and tried again. This time he was very successful in following directions and he was able to accomplish his goal of being able to clearly see the leaf that he colored over. He took a minute to lean back and admire his work before showing me what he did. He even looked at his other attempts and I saw an inquisitive look on his face as he compared his previous attempts to his last one.

Modes of Thinking and Learning

Christin has an inquisitive mind that is also very curious about the world around him. While observing Christin I have found that he has many learning styles to help him accomplish a task. Though Christin is able to understand verbal instructions well, he is still unable to execute those instructions by themselves without a demonstration of how to do it. Vygotsky “suggests that when children get support form a more competent peer or an adult, they are far better at solving problems” (Trawick, 2014, p. 245). I remember one day he had used a cloth to dry some water that has spilled and the teacher decided that he could hang the cloth on the rack to let it dry. She verbally explained what he can do while she was going to get other clothes that were wet so she can hang them on the rack to dry also. When she walked away Christin was left standing there holding the cloth staring at the rack. He did not move but just looked at the rack not knowing what to do. It was not until the teacher returned and took one of her clothes to show him how to hang up the cloth that he was able to do the same.

Christin uses his whole body when learning. When trying to understand something his has this blank childish stare on his face. As he ponders on it and soon comes to understand the answer, his eyes get wide with excitement. Being that Christin is a physical learner, it is important that he uses his hands to feel and manipulate the learning materials. In his program there is a box with wooden tiles with the alphabet on them. When you touch the letters with your hand it feels like sandpaper. I observed Christin doing that activity with a teacher one day and noticed how much joy he took in tracing the letters. His whole body also starts to do this chair dance when he has found the solution to the problem. I would defiantly say that Christin is an active learner. With regard to the projects that are more challenging and he does not know how to do, he does verbally communicate that to an adult. He also will ask his peers for help and will help his peers if they needed it. Christin is joyous and takes great pride in his learning. He is organized and keeps his work stations clean and is very respectful of the learning materials. I recall one time when he Christin had took a box off the shelf to bring to the table. He held the box with box hands and walked to his seat. He placed the items that was in the box carefully on the table. He inspected and explored the items in the box as if they were precious treasures. Even when Christin was unable to put away a wooden math game properly, he does not get upset and try to force the pieces into place. Instead he would take the piece out and try putting in back until he was able to figure it.

From my observations I would consider Christin to be a spatial kinesthetic learner. The program that he is in now is perfect for the type of learner he is. This program has enough space for him to learn comfortably without interrupting another child’s learning. The materials are age appropriate giving him a mixture of projects that he is able to do with ease while others are more challenging. He is not afraid of a challenge and have personally discovered the benefits of being adventurous in his learning. I saw a witness to this brave side of Christin when one day he ate edible grasshoppers during science. Christin also uses preoperational thought in his learning. Preoperational thought is when young children use “physical cues in the environment to learn and solve problems” (Trawick, 2014, p. 244). Christin still functions in unidimensional thought which is when “preschools tend to focus on only one characteristic of am object or one feature of a problem at a time” (Trawick, 2014, p. 246). I have noticed Christin is not able to follow more than two commands at a time.

Christin’s verbal learning skills are not strong, but with work in this area I know he will become a superior learner. I was informed by his teachers that he does not put things into sequences well. He has difficulty after hearing a story tell what happened first, second, and last. I do know that when telling stories, he can go off on wild tangents that don’t relate to the original subject. His story ends up being quite confusing. I can recall one day when Christin and I were playing a game called Exchange! I asked if he knew how to play it and he say yes. I then asked if he could explain the rules of the game. His attempt to explain the rules left me confused and so I had him show me how to play instead and was able to figure it out. When I asked him how to play the game at first he just smiled and giggled looking at me and then game. I knew that I would have to do a little scaffolding to help get his talking. Since the game involved a die I said “So you roll the die and then what happens next?” Without talking he began to pick up the little beads and place them where they belong. I should have asked him to use his words and explain the game but instead I became his voice while he showed me how to play.

Connections from a Phenomenological Perspective

I believe as an early childhood educator all children deserve the right to an education constructed to their individual learning styles. As an educator I will be working with a diverse group of students all with different learning abilities, and it is my job to create a learning curriculum that is supportive to each of their educational needs. Observations are a very important teaching tool for “planning [a] curriculum and assessing children’s learning…” (Curtis & Carter, 2013, p. 243). Observing students allows the teacher to get to know each of their pupils on a more personal level thus allowing the teacher to better construct an individualized and group curriculum. Observations also help educators to see and “…build from children’s strength as thinkers, learners, and persons” (Carini, 1986, p.4). This prevents the educator from narrowing their vision of the child and instead allows them the opportunity to view the world from the child’s perspective.

Becoming a keen observer was not an easy task at first. I noticed this the first day of class when I had to describe the vase in class. After I had some time to write down what I saw, when we went over our answers and I realized that I was missing a lot of details in my description. If someone had to draw a picture from the description I had given of the vase it would not be the same. That mini lesson taught me the importance of being detailed in my observations. After some time I was able to “…to understand and learn from the [child’s perspective]” (Curtis & Carter, 2013, p. 23).

A good observer makes use of all five of their senses and the environment around them. In the reading Observing/Describing, and Reflecting/Interpreting Kesson states that “[u]sing all of your senses will give you a more complete and detailed picture and overall sense…” of the child.” Over the course of observing Christin for weeks I was able to apply all that I have learned and read in class to my observational studies. In doing so I was able to really see the type of student he is and his learning styles.

Connections to Theories

Maria Montessori is very influential in early childhood development. She believed that children developed at their own pace and also “…places great emphasis upon the environment in which the child learns” (Gray & MacBlain, 2015, p.40). The job of the teacher is to create an environment that arouses a child’s natural curiosity to learn. At the Montessori school that Christin attends the director does an amazing job of setting up the classroom environment to allows the students to take their learning into their own hands. In my observations I have witness Christin walking around the room with wonder in his eyes as to what he is going to learn next. When he figures out what that may be, he takes the learning materials to either the desk or the floor to work. The teacher occasionally walks around the class to see if any of the students need help but most of the time she is just observing them from afar. “…[Y]oung children between the ages of 1 and 4 can also be observed to fixate upon particular objects and details” (Gray & MacBlain, 2015, p.187). I have seen Christin do this at school when he took a book from the sensorial self that had a bunch of random objects in it. He took out each object and intently looked at each one. He turned the objects around so he can get a complete look at what it was.

This classroom lacks a pretend play area because “Montessori saw limited value in this type of play, preferring, instead, to…encourage children actually to serve meals, for example, and to clear up around the house themselves” (Gray & MacBlain, 2015, p.40). Christin has been able to develop this skill in school when he helps to set the table for lunch, or even when he washes his plate after eating. Allowing the children to clean up after themselves teaches them to be responsible and aware of what they are doing. A key feature of this theory is independence and the ability for the children to care for themselves. This skill is developed when Christin has to take off his outside shoes to put on his school crocs. Christin is very independent and is able to do most things on his own. And if he does not understand something he will ask for help. Christin is an extremely smart child and has found creative ways to do things. I noticed that he does not quite know how to put on his coat the same way an older child would. So he lays his coat on the floor puts his arms through and swings the coat over his head to get it on.

Jean Piaget is a theorist who “…favored discovery learning through practical activities” (Gray & MacBlain, 2015, p.65). He too like Maria Montessori believed that children learned through their senses. Piaget believed that children did not learn from repeating things multiple times. I’ve noticed that Christin is a physical learner and learns best when he is able to manipulate the learning materials. He also has a lot of energy and needs the space to move around. I feel in a traditional classroom he would not be stimulated enough to learn.

Further Connections

I was also able to connect many of the readings I did to the child I was observing. An important connection I discovered while doing this study is the relationship of young children to their families. “Families adopt unique methods for playing with, carrying, feeding, comforting, educating, and socializing their children” (Trawick, 2014, p. 475). It is important for an educator to understand that the home dynamics of each student varies and greatly influences the child’s development. There are many different types of families that exist in the world today. Christin lives in what is defined as a nuclear family because he lives with both parents and his younger sister. I have not had the pleasure of meeting Christin’s family but did see a family photo of Christin with his parents posted in the classroom. I was told by the director that Christin has a very supportive home environment. Both of his parents are hardworking educated individuals who love and encourage Christin all the time.

A child’s family is their first teacher. It is important for teachers to get to know each of their students as well as their parents to be able to fully understand the child. By creating a repour with parents, the teacher is able to create an open dialogue to better assist in the child’s development. In the Montessori school, every morning the director would greet every parent and student as they entered the school. And at dismissal she would inform the parents of the child’s progress or anything she felt they needed to know. Establishing a healthy parent-teacher relationship is important for students, parents, and teacher because it allows for an exchange of information that is meant to educate and inspire growth.

I have not yet had the opportunity to observe students that have any type of disabilities. There are several types of disabilities that children can face. Some students can have a cognitive disability. “Cognitive disabilities are defined as conditions leading to general intellectual impairment and to difficulty in adapting well to life events and circumstances” (Trawick, 2014, p. 264). Children with cognitive disabilities go through the same developmental stages but much slower then other children. There are a number of physical disabilities that children are faced with such as cerebral palsy, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, spinal bifida. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is when children are “…extremely active and have difficulty controlling their movements, attention, and impulses” (Trawick, 2014, p. 364). Some students also have visual and hearing impairments that affects their motor ability.

It is important for educators to recognize students with learning disabilities so that they can provide the support needed for that student to learn. However, sometimes children are misdiagnosed with ADHD because teachers lack the knowledge on how to manage certain children of particular cultures. According to Ford and Wright, “[b]eginning in preschool, teachers have been found to stigmatize African American boys with negative labels that are passed along from teacher to teacher throughout their school years.” It is unfair that these chilren are being negatively labeled when some of them “…do not suffer a real disability but simply do not conform to norms of quietness in American schools” (Trawick, 2014, p. 645).

Doing this study has taught me many things about myself and has helped me to become a better observer. I’ve learned that a good observation is very detailed and gives many supportive illustrations so the reader can create an accurate picture in their head of the scenario being described. I’ve also learned the value of allowing children to grow and mature at the rate that is right for them.


Ford, D. Y., & Wright, B. L. (2016) “This Little Light of Mine”: Creating Early Childhood Education Classroom Experiences for African American Boys PreK-3. Journal of African American Males in Education, 7(1), 5-19

Gray, C., & MacBlain S. (2015). Learning Theories In Childhood. California, LA: SAGE Publications


Trawick-Smith, J (2016) Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, Pearson

DMU Timestamp: July 23, 2020 19:52

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