PURPOSE: To use an ecological-systems approach to study children within the three through ten years age range and to understand and assess a specific child’s growth and development, and to practice positive strategies for child guidance, as well as to write recommendations based on peer reviewed, scholarly sources relevant to the context of the ecological systems interacting in the development of the child.


The Child Development Action Project requires active participation with one child (3 through 5 OR 6 through 10 years) in a regular on-going set of visitations (15 to 18 hours). Your paper is to include the observation and assessment of the child’s developmental progress related to the context of the ecological systems interacting in the development of the child, as well as selected areas of child development indicated in the guidelines for the age that pertains to the child you are studying. See pages 13-14 OR 15-16.

1. Title page is to be written according to the example at the end of this Course Guide.

2. Paper must include 1) a photograph of the child with you (excused from photo if note is signed and name is printed with phone number by parent(s) stating that parent refuses to allow a picture), and 2) a signed Parental Consent Form with all parts completed, p. 12.

3. Paper must be typed in Times New Roman 12 pt font and use only double spacing throughout the paper, with one inch margins on all four sides. The length of your paper must be a minimum of 8 (numbered) pages, NOT counting your Activity Log entries, photo, consent form, title page, or reference page.

4. Grammar, spelling, and composition must be representative of upper-division, university
level standards of performance and writing.

5. Paper must include a reference page and text notes (citations) within the body to indicate specific page numbers from textbooks required for this class, including Pulaski, Mary & Spencer, Ann. Understanding Piaget for part of the cognitive development sections, and peer reviewed professional journals for the Unique Characteristics section ONLY. (Refer to APA, 6th Edition, Quick Guide provided on iLearn)

6. Your paper must be organized according to the headings in the attached guidelines for
Preschool Children 3 through 5 years of age (see pages 13-14) OR School-aged
Children 6 through 10 years of age (see pages 15-16) in this Course Guide.

Organization of paper is to be consistent with these guidelines, and ALL QUESTIONS AND

7. Paper must include detailed developmental interpretations, where requested, about the child’s developmental progress in the context of interacting ecological systems, based on
synthesized INFORMATION FROM THE TEXTBOOKS REQUIRED FOR THIS CLASS and answers to questions under #8 in section 2 (Interview with the parents).
Do NOT make general global judgments or give a simple description of what happened. Each
developmental interpretation and/or conclusion about the child should be supported by an
EXAMPLE of observed behavior. Synthesize* information in your own words, but you still must cite with page numbers in the body of your paper from your required text books. Synthesizing still requires citations, with page numbers, in the body of your CFS 320 Child Action Project assignment. [Final paper needs to be typed according to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition, with the exception of my requiring textnotes (citations) with author, publication year, and the specific page(s) numbers you used, indicated in the body (text) of your paper.

8. Regarding the Unique Characteristic(s) section of your paper, I would like you to elaborate on how the information you learned from the Scholarly, peer reviewed, Journal articles relates to your focus child’s unique characteristic(s). In other words, I don’t want you to simply give me a summary of the articles.

9. In the appendix of your paper include A SHORT ACTIVITY LOG of each interaction
with the child including: date, time spent, location, description of activity/experiment and
the child’s responses. A minimum of four meetings with the child is required.

10. Your Instructor recommends that both the child and her/his family be told very clearly that
the regular visits you have with the child will last only through the course of the semester.
The child’s disappointment can be lessened by being honest and openly communicative
about the purpose of the study and its duration.

11. You are required to turn in your Child Development Action Project with an evaluation sheet (p. 17) and a title page (p. 25).

12. Complete copies of the peer reviewed professional journal articles (NOT before 2009), required for the Unique Characteristics section, must be attached at the end of your Child Development Action Project.



* Synthesize: use your critical thinking skills to evaluate the related information and
combine concepts, ideas, and information to form a new and/or more complex result.
Synthesizing still requires text noting (citing) with page numbers in the body of your CFS 320 Child
Action Project assignment.

Guidelines for Child Development Action Assignment Report
PRESCHOOL CHILDREN (3 through 5 years of age)

The organization of this assignment MUST follow the HEADINGS and SUBHEADINGS
format indicated below.

The Section Titles and questions, listed below MUST be included in your Child Development
report. Also follow the Directions on Pages 10 and 11. (NOTE: Your own child may NOT be used.)

1. IDENTIFYING INFORMATION  To be written in bullet form in the order given:
Child’s Name: Alejandra Garcia
Birth Date: oct-20-2010
Age in Years and Months: 4yrs old and 1 month
Sex: female
Childcare Arrangements and or Pre-school:
Citizenship: American of Mexican Parents
English as a Second Language? yes
Special Needs? No
Description of Child: (Include family composition, sex and age of siblings, cultural background, and
role models) 5 family members; mother, father, and two brothers of age 7 and 13. Both parents were born in Mexico.
The child (Alejandra) speaks Spanish and she says a few words in English, such as numbers and colors

Interview one of the parents using the following questions. Report the answers, as stated, by writing the question and then the answers given in this section of your paper. Each answer is to be single spaced.
1. How would you describe your child to someone who has not met her/him? Friendly, honest, curious, she likes to ask many questions, and obedient.
2. What pleases you most about your child’s development? What qualities or characteristics
would you say are unique to your child? Unique characteristic: fast learner and very organize. The mother likes the fact that her child enjoys physical activity rather than play with electronic devices.
3. Do you see any improvements needed in your child’s development? the mother thinks that her child needs to improve in being more comfortable spending some time away from her.
4. What is your opinion of the childcare and or pre-school education your child is currently
receiving; include the strengths and weaknesses? she likes the pre-school education her child is currently receiving because there are 3 teachers in the classroom with 20 students. The mother thinks that this is good. She didn’t tell any weakness of her child’s education.
5. How much television does your child watch in a day? Do you think that your child’s
television watching is a positive or negative influence, and why? The child watches 3 hours of tv. The mother said it is a positive influence to watch tv if her daughter is watching an educative show for her age. She said that she let her daughter watch educative shows where she learns English, color names, and numbers.
6. Please explain your parenting “style” and how you discipline your child when he or she has
misbehaved. She believes that her parenting style is authoritative because she has rules but she’s also willing to take her child’s opinion
7. Please explain how you teach your child the moral and ethical values you believe to be
important. She said that because her child imitates her she tries to do what she wants her daughter to behave. For example, she said “ if I want my daughter to eat certain food, I eat the same food in front of her”
8. Describe the various influences relevant to your child’s development:
1) the child’s immediate surroundings such as family, including parents, siblings, grandparents,
and other relatives; she imitates her mother playing with her dolls and sometimes her mother’s make-up
2) local institutions such as schools, churches, hospitals, health clinics, social services; she likes to play and imitate a doctor and teacher
3) the larger social setting, including cultural values, economic policies, political processes,
and the economic resources of the family; she likes to imitate some cartons she watches.
4) historical influences and conditions, including parental background(s);
5) influences from the peers and friends, neighbors, teachers, and role models.

Berger, Chapter 10; Berns, Chapter 2, pp. 62-67, Chapter 4, pp. 137-139 Based upon the three parenting styles proposed by Diana Baumrind, explain which style(s) this child’s parents seem to use and how, in your judgment, does it seem to affect this child’s development? Determine consistency of guidance and discipline, follow-up and consequences. Remember to use citations with page numbers.

4. COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT – Berger, Chapter 9 and the Pulaski book in the Library Reserve (call number: BF 723.C5 P85).Give examples of Preoperational thought by observing the child and performing Piagetian experiments. Based on your text books for this class, include your detailed interpretations of the child’s developmental level for each of the following.
1. Symbolic Thought – Berger, Chapters 2 and 9
2. Egocentrism – Berger, Chapter 9 and Pulaski book
3. Conservation (Two experiments) as seen in film; Pulaski book in Library Reserve, and examples in your Course Guide
4. Seriation (Do NOT forget to check for reversibility) – Can use example on p. 20 in Course Guide, and the Pulaski book.
5. Classification (Two experiments) as seen in film; Pulaski book. Can use the templates on pp. 21 and 22 in this Course Guide for ONE of the required experiments.
6. Consider the child’s cognitive development in terms of social cognition and the influences of
ecological factors addressed in your Berns’ textbook. Based on your interpretations of #s 1-5, that are based on information from your textbooks, write detailed recommendations for the child regarding numbers 1-5 above. If no recommendations are warranted, state why.

5. EMOTIONAL AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT –Berger, Chapter 10. Observe and include your detailed developmental interpretations according to text on each of the following aspects of the child’s emotional and social development.
1. Anger: not going outside to play
2. Fear: fears of noises, the dark, animals, and monsters.
3. Empathy:
4. Effects of physical punishment vs. non-physical punishment on the psychological development of the child (Berger):
5. Gender awareness and distinctive gender-related patterns in play, personality and self-concept:
6. Consider the child’s emotional and social development in terms of the influences of ecological
factors based on the Ecological Model in your Berns’ Text. Based on your interpretations of #s
1-5, that are based on information from your textbooks, write detailed recommendations for the child regarding numbers 1-5 above. If no recommendations are warranted, state why.

Please choose one or more aspect(s) of the child’s development or situation to study further. Though several possible characteristics are listed below, be aware that you are NOT restricted by these choices and may choose to focus on a completely different characteristic or several characteristics. Research your choice using two or more peer reviewed research or professional journal articles published in the last six years (NOT before 2009). [NOTE: Copies of the articles must be included at the back of your report.]
1. English as a Second Language THIS IS MY CHOICE
2. Recent Immigration
3. Divorce, Step Family, Single-parent Family
4. Foster children or children in grandparent or relative care
5. Learning Disabilities
6. Physical/Emotional Disabilities
7. Poverty/low income
8. Other


The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence by Kathleen Stassen Berger

Child, Family, School, Community: Socialization and Support by Roberta M. Berns

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