The Observation Procedure. The Development Chart by Kuno Beller

Advantages and disadvantages in kindergarten

Term Paper, 2014

13 Pages, Grade: 1,0


Table of contents

1 Introduction

2 Basics of observation
2.1 Definition
2.2 Why do we observe?
2.3 What do we observe?
2.4 How do we observe?

3 Classification in the observation system
3.1 First pillar
3.2 Second pillar
3.3 Third pillar

4 Kuno Beller's development chart
4.1 Structure
4.2 Function and application
4.3 Calculation and evaluation
4.4 Experience offers

5 Summary
5.1 Own experiences
5.2 Advantages and disadvantages
5.3 Summary

6 Bibliography

1 Introduction

This term paper deals in the broadest sense with the topic of observation and documentation, specifically with the development chart of Prof. Dr. E. K. Beller and S. Beller. At the beginning of the work, the term observation is explained. The remainder of the paper then discusses why, what, and how observations are made in practice.

To see the procedure in an overall context, I present an observation system and embed the table in it.

In the further course, the structure, the function and the application of the development chart is described in detail and the experience offers are discussed. This section will take up most of the work.

Afterwards, I report on my own experiences in my kindergarten and weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of this procedure.

I decided on this observation procedure as part of my term paper because it has been carried out in my institution for several years and I have personally been able to gain a lot of experience with it., so that I can take a technical position on it.

2 Basics of observation

2.1 Definition

The term observation can have different meanings. In the further course of the term paper, I therefore refer to the following formulation by I. Büchin-Wilhelm and R. Jaszus (2011): "Planned, attentive perception of events, processes as well as of people in their reactions and actions."

While free observation has no clear goal and no formulated categories, in systematic, structured observation there is a concrete object, a time frame that is predetermined and written records are made (cf. Büchin-Wilhelm/ Jaszus 2011, p. 57f).

2.2 Why do we observe?

Observation and documentation of all children is a central task of the specialists in educational institutions (cf. Leu et al. 2007). In recent years, all federal states in Germany have developed (new) educational programs in which the aspect of observation and documentation plays an important role.

Observations occur in the kindergarten in a variety of ways. Children observe each other, professionals observe each other, children observe adults and the professionals observe children. In order to find out the current interests, topics and needs of the children, to go into collegial exchange, to perceive the individual development of a child, to conduct parent discussions, to develop supportive offers for children and to document the educational biography is observed in the kindergarten (cf. Bensel, Joachim; Haug-Schnabel, Gabriele 2009, p. 3ff).

Observations should help the pedagogical specialist to understand the behavior of the children, to record development, to discover new things and to get to know the child better.

In everyday situations, in projects, in offers and in free play - alone or with others - an appreciative and respecting relationship is established between the child and the educator. The specialist should make sure that he expresses joy, amazement and interest while observing and does not convey the feeling of control or examination.

In everyday daycare, specialists repeatedly experience that they lack the time to make conscious observations or that they have a bad conscience because they do not actively spend the time with the child. Often only short snapshots of a child are taken when a parent's conversation is pending or unpleasant abnormalities have occurred. However, these "snapshots" of the child do not provide any information for learning processes or strategies that the child uses. Instead, it is selective information about the interests, strengths and weaknesses of the child that leads to an incomplete assessment of the current state of development.

The more differentiated the professional's knowledge of the child, the better she can plan and carry out her work.

2.3 What do we observe?

Specialists observe children in their actions in everyday kit life, whereby the child is given respect and attention. Observation is about getting an overall picture of a child's behavior and not limiting yourself to just one area. During the observation, the subsequent reflection and the subsequent analysis with a colleague, the specialist wants to find out what kind of skills the child has, what strategies it uses, what interests and topics the child currently has and what progress it has made.

2.4 How do we observe?

Before an observation is started, it should be determined which goal the observation has, i.e. what matters to the observer and what information he wants to gain, which method and which observation method he uses.

A resource-oriented observation, for example, should take about 15 – 20 minutes. Here, the specialist notes the child's action steps in a detailed progress protocol and writes the corresponding competencies for the individual actions during the evaluation and analysis.

There are participating observations in which the specialist is actively integrated into the game and, following the situation, subsequently writes down their observations as completely as possible.

On the other hand, there is the non-participating observation, in which the specialist observes the child up close and writes down the actions very precisely.

Cameras can be used for help, but are more time-consuming in the evaluation than if you write directly on the sheet of paper.

Observations are usually carried out by the children's reference educators. Since people perceive the world subjectively on the basis of their previous experiences and attitudes, there are no objective observations. Observations are therefore always dependent on the image of the child, the time and the environment.

In order not to negatively burden an observation in advance, specialists must question their own perception in everyday life and try to look at the child's environment from the perspective of a child. Through this change of perspective, one can see the child as a researcher and try to understand and interpret the child's actions.

For the implementation in everyday practice, it means that the observer notes the actions of the child descriptively and neutrally, without evaluation. The more frequently observed, these observations are discussed and evaluated with the team, the more accurate and individual the offers for the children can be derived from them.

3 Classification in the observation system

In order to observe a child as individually and as differentiated as possible, a single observation procedure is not enough. It seems advisable to combine several procedures.

Viernickel and Völkel (2009) propose here for a procedure according to the "modular principle", in which three different observation methods are combined into one observation system. When compiling, attention should be paid to the purpose for which and in what form the methods can be used.

One procedure should focus on the children's activities and development processes, another should focus on development in one or more areas of development, and the third should provide the opportunity to determine with little effort whether a child has a developmental risk that needs to be addressed in more detail. In general, all procedures should have an eye on the resources and strengths of a child (cf. Viernickel / Völkel 2009, p. 30).

One can think of the observation system as a construct consisting of three pillars. The individual pillars are explained in more detail here.

3.1 First pillar

The first pillar stands for procedures in which processes can be observed. In order to implement an observation procedure from this area, the team must be aware of its attitude towards childlike play behavior and educational processes.

Methods of the first pillar are, for example, "The Leuven Commitment Scale", "Educational Topics of Children", "Schemes – Childlike Patterns of Behavior", Observational Perception" and "Educational and Learning Stories".

3.2 Second pillar

The second pillar is a feature-based procedure. They draw attention to specific areas of development. During the application, concrete stages of development, strengths and weaknesses of a child can be shown. This is about the individual characteristics of a child that are not in comparison to other children or standard values.

Methods of the second pillar are for example "Educational areas / forms of access for children from the age of three", "The tree of knowledge", "perik", "sismik and "seldak".

3.3 Third pillar

It is one of the tasks of pedagogical specialists to identify development risks and to limit negative developmental trajectories or to counteract them according to their possibilities.

Therefore, it is advisable to see the third pillar as a supplement to the first two pillars. This is about so-called development screenings, which have the function of an early warning system.

In these procedures, it is checked whether a child, depending on his age, is within the normal range in his development or whether there are deviations from the standard values.

This then indicates that behavioral abnormalities or risk

Methods of the third pillar are for example "Boundary stones of development", "Development monitoring and documentation 3 – 48 (EMCDDA 3-48)", "Observation sheet for the recording of developmental residues and behavioural abnormalities in kindergarten children – BEK" (cf. Viernickel / Völkel 2009, p. 30 f).

The Kuno Beller development chart can therefore be classified in the second pillar. It is characteristic-oriented and looks at specific areas of development of a child. The individuality of the child is in the foreground.

4 Kuno Beller's development chart

4.1 Structure

The Kuno Beller development chart is divided into eight development areas: Body care, environmental awareness, social-emotional development, play activity, language, cognition, gross motor skills and fine motor skills.

The eight development areas are each divided into 14 phases. The first four phases each refer to three months and thus enclose the 1st year of life, while each further phase lasts for 6 months from the second to the sixth year of life. Thus, the phases are divided as follows: Phase 1= 0-3 months, Phase 2= 4-6 months, Phase 3= 7-9 months, Phase 4= 10-12 months, Phase 5 = 13-18 months, Phase 6= 19-24 months, etc. The developmental table can thus be used as a general observation tool for children from birth to the 72 month of life (see Beller/Beller 2000, p.4).

In each phase, there are questions that relate to the level of development of the child in the corresponding area of development and should be answered by the pedagogical specialist. Of these questions, so-called items, there are a total of 649.

4.2 Function and application

Kuno Beller's development chart provides information on the level of development and the individual strengths and weaknesses of children aged zero to six years. To create a developmental table, a pedagogical specialist first observes a selected child in everyday life over about two weeks. Then she goes into a question - answer - conversation with a colleague and works through the items. When answering the items, the pedagogical specialist has the following four possible answers: "does it" (the child shows the behavior regularly and in a clear form in demanding situations), "does it partially" (it shows the behavior only irregularly or rarely or it still has difficulties in the execution), "does not do it" (it has not yet shown the behavior) or "do not know" (so far there has not been an opportunity to observe the behavior) (cf. Eberle 2012, p. 89).

The survey does not start in phase one in every area, but you always start in the phase below the actual age of the child. With a child at the age of 1.2 years, you would start in phase 4 and see if you can answer all questions there with "do it". If that is the case, you go one phase further. If, on the other hand, the case occurs that the child does not do everything in this phase, then one goes back the phases so far until one is found in which the child does everything. When answering the items, it is important to pay attention to it and to be aware that it is not asked whether a child can do something, but whether it does something.

The answers to the items are recorded by the colleague in an observation protocol during the interview of the observer. This protocol has the form of a table in which the four possible answers are given. The observer now estimates every single item for each development area, in every applicable phase. If the honourable Member has doubts about the correctness of the assessment, she can ask the observer for concrete examples and situations and discuss them. The reflected view of the child can thus avoid or correct overestimation and underestimation.

The phase in which all items can be answered with "does it" is called "base". Then you go through the further phases until you come to the phase in which the pedagogical specialist answers all items with "does not do it" and thus reaches the "ceiling". The recording of the data is complete when all eight areas have been queried and the data has been included in the log.

In general, it is recommended to carry out a second survey after about 2-4 weeks. Questions that have been answered with "don't know" can be assigned to the other answer options. Another reason for a second survey is that the items are more present in one's own memory and thus one has a more differentiated view of the child (cf. Beller/Beller 2010, p. 54f).

4.3 Calculation and evaluation

The answers to the questions are given different values for the evaluation. Every answer with "does it" gets the value 1, every answer with "does it partially" gets the value 0.5, every answer with "it doesn't" gets the value 0. Questions answered with "don't know" have no value and are not included in the calculation.

In order to calculate a development average value, one must first calculate a phase value for each phase. This is done by adding the values of the individual answers together a nd dividing their sum by the number of items, ignoring the "don't know" answers. If you have calculated and entered all the average values of the phases of a development area, you calculate all phase values together and thus obtain the development average value for a development area.

Now you have the base, the ceiling and the average value for this area and can enter them in the profile graphic. As described, one continues with the other development areas. The eight values of the base, the ceiling and the developmental averages are each connected by a line, so that an individual developmental profile of a child is created. Now you can read where a child is in his development and in which area his strengths and weaknesses lie. The area between the base and ceiling lines is the area in which the child is currently in his development and where he must be picked up by the pedagogical specialist (see Beller/Beller 2000, p. 58f).


Excerpt out of 13 pages


The Observation Procedure. The Development Chart by Kuno Beller
Advantages and disadvantages in kindergarten
Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin AS
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
observation, procedure, development, chart, kuno, beller, advantages
Quote paper
Katrin de Beyer (Author), 2014, The Observation Procedure. The Development Chart by Kuno Beller, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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