Welcome toUsing Observation in Early Childhood Education.My purpose in writing this text was to give students a book that will help them understand the process of observation. I want students to be able to observe, document, and assess children's development and progress. I want students to know just how powerful a tool ethical and responsible observation can be in their professional life. I have constructed this textbook so that it, like my other textbook,Guidance of Young Children,reflects my beliefs about children. I believe that protecting children is a teacher's most important role.Students reading this text should understand that we teach and protect children most effectively by making active conscious choices about our practices, including how we assess and observe children. We protect children when we refuse to use inappropriate assessment strategies that are potentially harmful. We protect children by observing ethically and responsibly and by protecting children's privacy. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), in its Code of Ethical Conduct, notes that the most important part of the code is that early childhood professionals never engage in any practice that hurts or degrades a child. I take this advice seriously. Students who use this textbook will learn only responsible, ethical strategies and a respectful approach to observing and assessing young children. I believe that observation is a powerful tool.Students who read this book should come away convinced that they can use observation to increase their effectiveness as professionals. Students will learn how to observe children and document their development and progress. They will also learn to use observation to observe children's behavior, to become reflective practitioners, to prevent or solve problems, and to work with parents. I believe that we have a choice about how we observe and use observation.Students have a choice about how they responsibly observe and assess children. Students should know that the methods they choose do matter, and should know how to choose informal and formal observation and assessment strategies. They should also know how to embed the observations in the daily life of a classroom. I believe that there is no one right way to observe and assess children's development and progress, but that there are many good ways.This textbook will give students a clear and precise picture of major observation strategies. It will urge them to use a single developmentally appropriate observational strategy, or a combination of these, to get the information that they need. My hope is that they will value the opportunity to use a variety of observational strategies. SPECIAL FEATURES OF THIS TEXT Students will see how these teachers have woven observation into the fabric of their teaching: Mrs. Vargas (preschool), Mr. Claiborne (first grade), Mr. Nellis (K-2), and Mr. Lee (third grade). An emphasis on observation as a part of authentic assessment of young children. Discussion of problems associated with standardized testing of young children. A discussion of the ethics of observation. Practical and specific help in doing observations in a time-efficient way. Clear descriptions of specific major observational methods. Many examples of observational methods--examples from real classrooms. If running records are under discussion, then several running records are presented. They are not just described. Students see real examples. Case studies for many of the chapters. Helpful figures throughout the text, such as a timeline for observing, checklists, and rating scales. Real-life examples of observations from primary, kindergarten, and preschool classrooms. Terms that are clearly defined. Student-friendMarion, Marian is the author of 'Using Observation in Early Childhood Education', published 2003 under ISBN 9780138884963 and ISBN 013888496X.