Implementing quality, effective practices in early childhood settings requires not only understanding of what these practices consist, but also the ability to recognize and assess their presence or absence. In this Application Assignment, you will utilize the assessment instrument provided in your Required Resources, adding at least two factors to the instrument that you feel are integral to assessing the quality of family partnerships.
You will also interview a teacher or program director at the site to give you a more complete understanding of the program and practices. The last part of this assignment requires you to reflect on the quality of practices in this setting relative to these targeted factors and what you have been learning throughout these past two weeks.
- Add two factors that you believe will help you better assess the program and practices.
- Review the interview portion of the assignment, making sure you fully understand each question prior to making your observation/interview appointment.
- Make sure that you have all materials that you need to conduct the observation and interview prior to arriving at the scheduled observation/interview time.
- Arrive on time.
- Choose a place to observe where you can see and hear but are unobtrusive.
- Conduct the interview in an area that is convenient for the professional, being respectful of his or her schedule.
- Keep the following observation guidelines in mind:
- Try to not make assumptions; objectivity is essential.
- Record what you observe.
- Note any questions you would like to ask in the interview.
- Remember that you are observing one moment in time and so are not privy to specific circumstances and/or situations that may be affecting individual children or staff.
- Try to keep to the time span that you agreed upon for the observation and be sure to thank the teacher(s) in the room and the person you interview.
Reflect on your observation and interview. Review your notes and consider the knowledge and insights you gained from this experience. Include the following:
- Summarize your observation and interview experience.
- Describe the ways in which what you learned from your observation and interview reflected and/or contradicted what you have learned about effective programs and practice designed to cultivate relationships and form partnerships with families.
- Based on your assessment of the program’s effectiveness, what practices do you feel should be continued? What additional suggestions would you make? What is your rationale for these suggestions?