Video Documentation for Parents

Delivery Method: 

As educators, we realize that we are only one of the protagonists in a learning community that also includes children and parents. To be sure, parents offer us an indispensable perspective as we seek to understand and support children’s ongoing explorations and discoveries surrounding the physical and social world. Thus, communication with parents about the work of their children is critical.

In the first segment of the video clip, taken in late January ’08, we observe Ethan, age 3, rolling marbles down a slanted board. He is totally engrossed in the task at hand. Notice how his body is positioned with his back toward the marble ramps. He appears to be unconcerned with the end result of his actions on the marbles. Another child, Evan, puts a handful of marbles down the hole at the top, making the marbles roll back and forth down the switch back ramps and land in the bottom tray. Ethan reacts enthusiastically, turns his body and begins to watch as the marbles he is launching also land in the bottom tray. However, he does not seem to notice or to interact with Evan during the brief time that they are together.

In the second half of the video clip we fast-forward six months to early August ’08. Here we observe Ethan once again rolling marbles down a slanted board, but this time the scenario is much different. Ethan’s engagement with the physics of the experience is coupled with his interactions with his peers, 3 year-olds Austin and Nathan. Note the change in the position of his body, in his eye contact with Austin. Even after the relationship with Austin had been established, Ethan is able to make a space for Nathan to join the play.

If you were to show these two video clips to parents, how might you describe Ethan’s social and physical knowledge development from January to August? What actions in the video clips would you point out in order to ‘closely map’ these actions to Ethan’s current theories about his social and physical world?

Keywords: Threes, Child-Object, Child-Child, Inclines, Cause/Effect, Communication

Length of stand alone master video clip: 4 minutes 51 seconds