Child & Family Studies Center

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Observation Guidelines

The following guidelines are recommended for student observers:

  • As a fieldwork student, you are expected to wear clothing that is considered appropriate for working with young children. Restrooms are available if you need to change into or out of appropriate clothing before or after your fieldwork experience.
  • For security reasons, as well as for record keeping, everyone that enters and leaves the CFSC must sign in through the Main Office. Clipboards indicating all fieldwork courses are located on the front counter and must be used daily.
  • All observers must wear nametags while on the CFSC premises in order to alert staff that you are an authorized visitor. Temporary "stick-on" nametags are located next to the sign in/out sheets on the front counter of the Main Office.
  • Remember that everything that you see or hear is strictly confidential. All information obtained for course projects, research, or other scholarly purposes must maintain respect for families and children, and is to remain confidential within legal limitations.
  • Refrain from engaging in conversation with other observers regarding the program, staff, or the children you are observing. Parents, staff, or other children may overhear your comments.
  • Remember that you are observing for a relatively short period of time, and that you may not fully understand the dynamics of the situations you are observing (i.e. previous history, or what may have preceded the event moments before your arrival). A responsible observer reports on the situation in an objective manner and avoids subjective interpretation.
  • Please remain as unobtrusive as possible and avoid engaging in conversation with either the staff or the children that you are observing. If a child approaches you to ask what you are doing, you may let them know that you are working or that you are watching them play. Avoid interfering with children's play or interactions.
  • Any concerns should be brought to the attention of a Lead Teacher. If you have questions that need to be addressed further, please schedule an appointment with the Lead Teacher.
  • While observing outdoors, observers should position themselves around the perimeter of the outside environment. Please feel free to move about the perimeter of the play yard in order to procure a better vantage point during your observation time.
  • Please make every effort to keep our environment clean and safe for the children and staff. Food and drinks are not permitted inside the observation rooms or on the play yard.
  • Please refrain from all use of cell phones during observation hours.