In last month’s blog post in our family child care (FCC) series, we looked at the challenge of coding consistently in inconsistent settings. This month we’re going to take a look at yet another challenge for observers in family child care settings—maintaining objectivity.
FCC Challenge #3: Maintaining Objectivity
When conducting observations in someone’s home, it can be difficult to maintain your objectivity for a number of reasons:
How do these factors impact your data collection?
My best advice is to stay grounded in the CLASS manual and carefully follow protocol. Take a look in Chapter 2 at the section “Challenges for the Observer" for insights on this issue. As you'll see, carefully considering the dimensions definition and looking closely for disconfirming evidence to capture bias is an important part of the coding protocol. Be sure you are using the definition, face pages, and detailed long descriptions to assign your score. Trust your manual!
My recommendation for observing in a small place is to find a spot that is out of the way, if you can. You will need to pay attention to the movement of the children and provider and be ready to find another spot if needed. Having all your materials together in a bag will make it easier to quickly move from spot to spot. It is also a good idea to hold debriefing sessions with other certified observers to review challenges and share strategies for maintaining your objectivity.
What strategies do you have in place to maintain objectivity in your family home observations? Let us know in the reply section below! We’d love to hear from you!
When Covid-19 hit and schools shut down, many of us were certain that it would not impact the 2020-21 school year. But with the pandemic surging and some schools opening up - only to shut down again, it’s clear that Covid is still with us. The length of the pandemic has only heightened concern about Covid related learning loss - especially among underserved populations.
Young infants develop a unique relationship—known as attachment—with their caregivers. To develop secure bonds, infants need to know that at least one person really cares about them. Caregivers provide that comfort by helping infants regulate needs and emotions, such as hunger and sadness. With healthy attachments, infants develop a sense of safety and trust.
Infants need to be held, to have face-to-face interactions, to feel another human heartbeat. By meeting these needs, caregivers foster attachment. Plan how you will meet these essential needs—while keeping yourself and infants safe.
Children need to feel safe before they can explore their surroundings. While curiosity and exploration help awaken children’s talents, teachers help reinforce their learning through guidance and repetition. All children benefit from intentional interactions that inspire them through new experiences—and some children need additional or individualized support.
Given the natural need to be around others, children might have a hard time with social distancing. Organize materials in spaces where two friends can explore together. Make yourself available to facilitate their exploration while ensuring safety.
Toddlers reinforce their trust in caregivers while venturing into the world on their own. Along with stable relationships and independence, they need frequent reminders of behavioral expectations to keep themselves and their peers safe. With support and regulation, educators can help buffer the effects of stress or trauma and promote healthy child development.
Children learn best in a warm, safe environment. While positive interactions strengthen a classroom community, clear safety expectations promote healthiness. Remind children that these measures are in place because you care about them.