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Observing Young Children: Transformative Inquiry, Pedagogical Documentation, and Reflection, 6th Edition

By Fenning/Wylie
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Soft Cover
ISBN-10: 0176805133
ISBN-13: 9780176805135
Publisher: Top Hat
Edition: 6th

The sixth edition of Observing Young Children continues to focus on promoting and encouraging pedagogically sound observation and documentation practices in early childhood settings as a collaborative, meaningful, and reflective learning experience and process. This product encourages students to take time to reflect and inquire through a variety of lenses, including responsive inclusive approach, sociocultural theory, Indigenous perspectives, developmental theory, and more. It is through observation that students can develop new and transformative ways of education and learning. This text and the accompanying NelsonStudy allow students to explore and discover a new world of interacting and working with children.


  • *NEW* The sixth edition has been updated to reflect the ongoing changes occurring in the early childhood profession and in the global community.
  • *NEW* The authors took into consideration the 94 Calls to Action document prepared by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and, based on it, have included more coverage of Indigenous populations and perspective.
  • Appreciative inquiry and reflection remain at the heart of all chapters, prompting readers to reflect upon different examples and questions to self-assess their own observation and pedagogical documentation practices.
  • The textbook is divided into three parts. Part 1 sets the stage for students by covering key framework concepts. Part 2 introduces a variety of observational tools and how they can be used in the observation cycle and portfolios. Part 3 is the lens of reflective, transformative practices, including early intervention and early identification.
  • Chapter 3 includes coverage of the writing process with concrete, practical examples, guidelines, and suggestions.
  • Four-colour design, with colour photos, makes this edition visually interesting and engaging.
  • An Advantages/Disadvantages section for each of the observational methods in Chapter 4 and 5 has been included in NelsonStudy to allow readers to determine which best suits their purpose for observing.
  • NelsonStudy brings course concepts to life with engaging and interactive learning tools, including self-study practice quizzes, videos, interactive exercises, and more. Students easily access NelsonStudy online from any device—no set up, just success!

Table of Contents

  • Part One: Observation, Pedagogical Documentation, and the Responsive Inclusive Observer
  • Chapter 1: What Is Observation?
  • Chapter 2: Preparing to Observe: Ethics, Rights, and the Cycle of Observation
  • Chapter 3: Learning to Document the Activity of Children
  • Part Two: Meaningful Observation and Authentic Pedagogical Documentation
  • Chapter 4: Observing and Documenting Spontaneous Thinking and Behaviours
  • Chapter 5: Observing and Documenting Targeted Behaviours
  • Part Three: Through the Lens of Reflective, Transformative Practices
  • Chapter 6: Informing Pedagogical Practice through the Lens of Reflection
  • Chapter 7: Informing Practice through the Lens of Early Identification
  • Chapter 8: Reflective and Transformative: Observer as Leader

Author Information

Kristine Fenning

Kristine Fenning is an Early Childhood Professor with the Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. Kristine holds an extensive background in Adult Education, Community College, Resource Consultation, and Early Childhood Education. Prior to her current position, she has fulfilled a number of roles in her 20 years in the field, including Early Childhood Educator, Resource Teacher, Resource Consultant, and Training Coordinator. Kristine has presented various topics at conferences in Canada and the U.S.A., and has authored and published other articles and documents pertaining to Cohort Based Learning, Inclusion, and Supervisory Leadership. In collaboration with Toronto Children's Services and Humber College Child Care Centres / Humber College ITAL, Kristine was a co-developer and co-originator of the professional development system now in place for Early Childhood Educators, Resource Consultants, Supervisors and Directors in Toronto. Kristine's passions are teamwork, educational advocacy, inclusion, observation, assessment, and individual program planning. Kristine continues to be a member of a number of projects involving community partnerships, collaborative learning and inclusion. She is a proud wife and mother of two beautiful daughters who continue to teach her and empower her to make a difference in the lives of others.

Sally Wylie

Sally has been in the field of early childhood over 30 years as an early childhood educator, resource teacher, elementary school teacher, program advisor for the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, Ontario, and college/university professor. She has partnered with Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning for a video conferencing project with Regional Training and Resource Centre in Early Childhood Care and Education for Asia in Singapore, published articles, co-presented at the NAEYC, and consulted on projects such as the website for supervisors, Sally recently finished teaching at Charles Sturt University Ontario leaving to pursue new horizons in her retirement.