You are here

Expedited access to textbooks and digital content

Instructors: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in support of your transition to online learning, requests for complimentary review copies of our textbooks will be fulfilled through our eBooks partner, VitalSource. By providing you with a digital review copy of the requested textbook(s), we can ensure you have expedited access to our content. If you require special assistance, please contact us at (800) 818-7243 ext. 6140 or at

Child Observation

Child Observation
A Guide for Students of Early Childhood

Fourth Edition

October 2019 | 296 pages | Learning Matters
This is a key text that enables students to appreciate and understand the central role of observation in understanding, planning for and educating early years children. It explores the theoretical background to child observation and links it back to practice. Recent important research in the field of child observation is highlighted and ethical implications of research in early childhood are considered. This is essential for all those studying for degrees and foundation degrees in early childhood, early years and related disciplines and for Early Years Teacher candidates. 

  • Updated in line with recent policy and legislation changes
  • A new chapter on observation documentation in the multi-modal age
  • Includes new material and case studies that explores the essential elements of child observation across the world
  • Research chapter re-written to make it more accessible for all students
  • More case studies throughout linking theory to practice.

    Chapter 1 – Observation in the policy context
    Chapter 2 – Observation and pedagogy
    Chapter 3 – Becoming and observer
    Chapter 4 – Unstructured (participant) observation
    Chapter 5 – Structured observations
    Chapter 6 – Semi-structured observations
    Chapter 7 - Analysing and documenting
    Chapter 8- Observation documentation in the multi-modal age
    Chapter 9- Ethical implications
    Chapter 10- Observing development and learning
    Chapter 11- Observing for curriculum
    Chapter 12- Observing for research

    Excellent resource for Early Childhood Studies students, embracing the multitudinous facets of observation in a clear and concise manner.

    Miss Louise Stafford
    Department of Education, Oxford Brookes University
    July 16, 2019

    This book is especially useful for students who are studying to the Early Childhood Studies in years 1 and 3. It is particularly positive to see that this edition contains recent research that shows a blend of multimodal methods of capturing young children's observations.

    Dr Gina Sherwood
    School of Education and Sociology (EDSOC), Portsmouth University
    July 15, 2019

    A wide ranging introduction to the rudiments of observation that clearly meets the needs of new teachers.

    Dr Paul Demetriou-Crane
    Education, Havering College of FE And HE
    July 10, 2019

    Enjoyed the easy read of this book and it is applicable for ALL levels of student studying child development. Have informed our library to purchase 3 books.

    Mrs Susan Wakeham
    Health, Social Care & Early Years Dept, Warwickshire College
    July 10, 2019

    A really appropriate text for students on an early years programme who have to undertake observations as part of their practice module. I like the way that if combines theory and philosophical ideas alongside more practical based ideas of observation techniques. The layout is 'student friendly' with a mixture of case studies , 'boxes' and activities.

    Mrs Deborah Harris
    Department of Education, Newman University
    July 10, 2019
    Key features
    • Updated in line with recent policy and legislation changes
    • A new chapter helps students understand the context of early childhood in England and elsewhere
    • Material that explores the essential elements of child observation that are important across the world
    • International case studies
    • Research chapter re-written to make it more accessible for all students
    • More new case studies throughout linking theory to practice

    Preview this book