Psychology 100K: Development of Thought and Language

Purposes & Expectations:
Participation in field observations, debriefing, and helping children at the site

To make observations of children's learning (what and how they learn) and to help the children in:
1) their work with computer and non-computer activities;
2) communication with each other and adults (e.g., undergraduate students, site coordinators, adult visitors);
3) resolving interpersonal conflicts.

* The purpose of helping is to support and develop further children's interests and inquiries in the activity. Helping does not necessarily mean that you will be formally teaching children or that you know the right answers, it certainly does not mean that you will be babysitting the children -- helping probably means guiding your collaboration with the children.

* The purpose of observation is to depict and reflect on moments of learning in the children and in yourself. Observation includes descriptions of what happened, your thoughts and interpretations of the events, their links with previous observations, your own life experience, and/or class readings.

* The purpose of debriefing is to reflect on emerging observations and issues in order to report to the whole class. Debriefing helps you to learn background information on occurred events through sharing observations and your concerns with your fellow students.

Our expectations:



Source for help

1. You should be on time at Barrios Unidos and leave after the debriefing. You should obey dress and behavior codes at Barrios Unidos. Barrios Unidos has established behavior and dress codes; you are professionally representing the University at Barrios Unidos and you should follow their rules. You will be going into a work environment, and that it is best that they dress "appropriately" neat, clean, not to revealing, yet comfortable.

You also have a responsibility to the children to be on time and provide help. Finally, you have responsibility for your own learning -- being at the site is at the core of the class curriculum.

Ask for help from your classmates if you need to get a ride to the site or back.
Ask Site Coordinator & Instructors for info.
2. If you can't attend the site (or must leave earlier or come later) because of an emergency, you should inform the Site Coordinator and your TA as soon as possible. The children at Barrios Unidos need your help. So if less students are coming than expected, the Site Coordinator has to re-organize the session that day to ensure help for all children. Site Coordinator & your TA
3. If you think that you have an important excuse not to attend the site (or should leave earlier or come later) , you should ask permission from the instructors. see above Instructor, Site Coordinator & your TA
4. If an interpersonal problem emerges between you and a child, you should ask the Site Coordinator for help. If the problem persists over several sessions, you should report to your TA and Instructor for a possible solution. The Site Coordinator is the person responsible for children's well-being at Barrios Unidos. The Instructor and TA are responsible for your well-being. Instructor, Site Coordinator & your TA
5. If an interpersonal problem emerges between you and another student, you should try to resolve the problem after the site visit. If the problem persists ask your TA for help. Ask the Site Coordinator for help if you feel the problem would jeopardize the well-being of the site. see above Other students
Your TA
6. If an interpersonal problem emerges between children, you can try to:
a) stop the fight,
b) ask each involved child to explain what happened and how they feel about it
c) ask them about possible solutions or a compromise.
If you can't deal with the problem yourself (we don't expect that you always can deal with the problem yourself), ask the Site Coordinator for help. If the problem persists over several sessions, you should involve the Site Coordinator and report to your TA, and Instructor for a possible solution.
see above Children, other students
Site Coordinator
Instructor, your TA
7. If you need technical help in an activity, you can ask children, other students, or the Site Coordinator. Asking and providing help are considered to be a part of your and the children's learning experience. Children, students, Site Coordinator, your TA, Instructor
8. You should follow instructions and requests from the Site Coordinator. If you have an issue with the Site Coordinator, please, follow the request and then ask the Instructor for help later. The Site Coordinator is the person responsible for children's well-being at Barrios Unidos and making sure the program there runs smoothly. Site Coordinator & Instructor
9. At the debriefing, you should share exciting observations or emerging issues with your fellow students. Sharing immediate impressions should help you write field notes, address emerging issues about the site, as well as facilitating whole class discussions Site leader & other students

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For comments and questions contact the Instructor Eugene Matusov.
©1996. Last changed: January 20, 1997