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Kate Williams Browne

Observation Skills ECE 333 AA (39993)


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Course Information
Description Syllabus Materials Evaluation Final Grades



ECE 333 AA (39993)

Observational Skills

Kate Williams Browne, Program Coordinator

Office: Bldg 8, room 8-303

T-Th 11:10-12:25

Office Hrs: M/W  2-4 pm; T/Th 2-5 pm

Bldg/Rm, 8-117

Ph: 650 738-7092

please note: click the link to download Microsoft Word document Course Syllabus

Course Description This course focuses on the appropriate use of assessment and observation strategies to document development, growth, play and learning to join with families and professionals in promoting children’s success. Recording strategies, rating systems, portfolios, and multiple assessment tools are explored.  It is a required course for the ECE Certificate and AS Degree program, and is also useful for Psychology and other Social Science majors who will be observing human behavior.

Spring 2010 download Microsoft Word version of Course Syllabus


Reading text, articles, and handouts

Bentzen, W.R. (2005) Seeing Young Children: A Guide to Observing and Recording Behavior [5th edition]. Clifton Park, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning.
[Portfolio & Rating Scales to be purchased at bookstore]:
Wiggins-Dowler, “Portfolio: the “Unfolding” of the Child”
Gordon & Browne, Beginnings and Beyond, 6e [excerpts], Albany, NY:Delmar
Harms, Clifford, and Cryer. Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scales NY: Teachers College. 


  • Class attendance and participation is critical!
  • Regular, prompt attendance in class is very important for your success in this course. 
    If you get more than one absence, you must discuss the impact on your grade with the instructor; make-up is made available only by arrangement and with a 2-week deadline.


 Child Portfolio Project                                       40 points
Teacher Observation Project                            10 points
Environmental Rating Project                           30 points
In-class Activities/Assignments                        20 points
Extra credit for this course is available by attending/summarizing early care and education-related workshops, lectures, or broadcasts.  Final due date: May 20, 2010.


  • You will be divided into groups, usually randomly, for small group activities during class time. Goals: to interact regularly [modeling common ece practice of team teaching], to focus on the application of material in a personal manner [making ideas relevant & real].  TeamWork experiences count for 20% of the course grade; each one will be graded on the summary sheet using a 2-point system:
  • 2 pts. [+]   All members of group were involved in discussion; summary is clear & articulate
  • 1 pts. [X]  Members were generally involved, summary is brief .
  • 0 pts. [-]    Some members of group were uninvolved or did not contribute; summary is poor.

Final Grades

  • Will be available by June 9.