Observation and Analysis of Adolescent Interaction
This written assignment is based on one hour of observation and contains two parts:
1) The observation log
2) The analysis of the observation
Part One: The Observation
Your task is to observe adolescents interacting with others in the setting where you will do service learning. I prefer that you observe adolescents interacting with each other. If this is not possible, you can observe teens with parents, teachers, or others. You can do this observation in a private or public setting (e.g., with a few adolescents interacting with only each other, or in a more public space with many adolescents interacting with each other).
When observing, be polite, respectful, and discreet (particularly when observing in public). Ask permission to observe in private settings before you begin the observation. Be sure that your service learning supervisor knows when and where you are doing your observation beforehand. Remember that your observation is confidential. In your observation you will refer to individuals only by initial (e.g., A = adolescent or T = teen, M = mom, D = dad, F = friend, BF = boyfriend, etc. If you know the people you are observing, you can use the initials of their name). No one should be able to identify the youth that you observed from your observation log.
Your observation log should represent the hour of observation. Include the location (generally), date, time, and observation sequence. Use the attached sample format for your observations. I have included in this document the log form that I want you to use. While observing, write down the behaviors you see on the left side of the paper. Write down you impressions, or subjective interpretations of what you have observed on the right side of the paper. Be sure to include links to course concepts that you observe in the observation log (see the example). Your final log must be typed and submitted as a word document. Do not submit hand-written notes.
Some of you will be lucky enough to observe one social setting in the hour. Others will view snippets of interactions with different groups in the course of an hour. Use whatever data you obtain in your observation for the analysis. If you observe two different peer groups, for example, you might compare and contrast them in your analysis, drawing from the readings and discussions on peer groups.
Part Two: The Analysis
After completing the observation and comments, write a 3-4 page analysis of what you observed. This analysis should be completed as a formal paper in APA format. It needs to include elements of strong writing like good internal structure, support for conclusions made, and strong conventions (grammar, spelling, etc.). Reference the course materials or outside readings as appropriate. For outside readings, it is only appropriate to cite chapters from textbooks or empirical peer reviewed journal articles. You should not have any citations from popular media or newspapers. You will need to carefully cite concepts form the course in the text. There is an APA guide posted in this course space to guide you about formatting and citations.
An analysis is more than just repeating what you saw. It is where you will look at the data (the objective observation and your subjective viewpoint — your comments on what you saw) and explain the data in terms of what we know about adolescent development. Your analysis should pull together concepts that you have learned throughout the course.
As you analyze your observation, consider each of the following: The stage of adolescence (early, middle, late); pubertal maturation; what you have learned about autonomy and the changing parent – adolescent relationship; the increased importance of friends and conformity to the peer group, self-selection into a peer group or clique, self-concept and identity formation; the school context; the cultural context. Are there any particular theories that might explain the interactions you observed? Specifically address the role of the context in which you observed the youth. How does this context relate to what you have learned in this course? Is the context influencing the youths’ behavior, how so? Your analyses paper should be organized by content or theme of development, not by the time of your analyses. For instance, your paper should not start with the beginning of the hour and end at the end of the hour. Rather you should address several themes or content areas that should be stated in the introductory paragraph in the order they will be addressed. the resources include a sample log and paper that received a high score in a prior semester.
It is important that you are able to apply the observation to what you have learned so far about adolescent development and appropriate contexts for development. The depth of your analyses, and your display of understanding of course material will be the driving factors in determining your grade for this paper.
*I WILL BE DOING MY SERVICE AT ONE OF THE LOCAL MENTORING AGENCY. I WILL MEET WITH THE STUDENTS ONCE PER WEEK FOR 10 SESSIONS OF COACHING PROGRAM TO FIND THEIR VISION, LIFE PURPOSE TO HAVE ACTION PLAN FOR NOW AND FUTURE. WE WILL BE TALKING A LOT BY ME ASKING QUESTIONS TO FIGURE OUT STUDENTS’ LIKES AND DISLIKES, STRENGTH AND WEAKNESSES, AND TO FIGURE OUT IF THERE ARE ANY STRUGGLES WITH FAMILIES. QUESTIONS ARE THE KEY TO MENTORING SESSIONS BECAUSE IT WILL HELP THEM TO THINK ABOUT THEMSELVES AND WHAT THEY WOULD WANT TO DO NEXT.
*IMAGINE THAT YOU ARE THE MENTOR OF TEENAGER AND YOU ARE OBSERVING HOW THEY REACT DURING THE MENTORING SESSIONS TO FINISH THIS ASSIGNMENT.
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