Quality versus quantity: The use of observation by early childhood educators in improving the performance of children enrolled in preschool programs in ghana
Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood
University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana; Northwest Special Education Cooperative, Freeport, IL, United States
In the current study, the authors explored how early childhood educators used observation to support children in the learning environment. The objectives set were to find out the observation methods teachers used, ascertain their understanding of child observation, find out activities children undertook, and how teachers documented what children did and said during play activities. A qualitative, explorative, descriptive and contextual design, using in-depth interviews, focus group discussion and photography, was considered appropriate for this research. Three main themes emerged in this study: Teachers or Playmates?, Observation as in Supervision, and Observation or Resources? The results of the study revealed that supervision of activities that children engaged in was equated to observation. Lack of observational skills, resources, and poor record keeping emerged as areas of concern. Implications for child development are rooted in the need for teachers to recognize the educational needs of children via observation and to develop appropriate strategies to address identified needs.