How Does Learning Happen?

Developmental Summary

The information obtained through observing the child allows creating a summary of her skills. The following domains of development have been analyzed: cognitive, social and emotional, speech and language, fine motor skills, and gross motor skills. Data gathered during informal observations, which are reflected in brief reports and checklists, will be interpreted to write a developmental summary. This phase of the assessment will enable synthesizing the knowledge of child development and identifying the child’s abilities.

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Cognitive Development

This domain concerns the child’s problem-solving skills and is characterized by a rise in mental representation. According to Piaget’s cognitive-developmental theory, Vianna, who is three years old, is now in the pre-operational stage of cognitive development (Doherty & Hughes, 2014). The girl sometimes engages in such activities as pouring water in a cup and putting fruit in the fruit car. These are signs of employing mental symbols to represent the world around her (Doherty & Hughes, 2014). However, at the same time, the child does not use symbols in play or treat dolls and teddies as if they were alive. Neither does Vianna imitate pretend play actions, which is another sign of sufficient cognitive functioning.

Social and Emotional Development

Preschoolers’ emotions of empathy and embarrassment are largely governed by self-awareness. Such emotions as shame and guilt are established with the understanding of rules (Doherty & Hughes, 2014). Social development involves the ability to communicate with other children and adults. Vianna can verbalize her desires and feelings and is willing to share some food and objects. At the same time, while the girl sometimes plays with other children, she can frequently be noticed spending time on her own.

Speech and Language Development

Generally, the girl performs the majority of the activities included in the checklist. Vianna can make up sentences, explain herself, and comprehend the basic size and quantity concepts. The child can follow both simple and two-part instructions given by adults. She can point to main body parts, items of clothing, food, and toys when requested. Vianna can name actions and comprehend such concepts as “go/stop,” “quiet/loud,” “hot/cold,” and others.

Fine Motor Skill Development

The girl can turn single pages in the book, hold a crayon, use one hand for activities, eat without help, and pick up small objects with a thumb and one finger. However, the child cannot build a tower or copy a simple sequence of colored blocks in a tower, string a few large beads, make snips with scissors, imitate different strokes, or complete insert puzzles.

Gross Motor Skill Development

The checklist indicates that Vianna’s ability to use her large muscles is established rather well. The child can perform a variety of activities without difficulty. For instance, she can pick up toys, roll a ball, change positions, and climb onto and down furniture. With slight support, Vianna can walk up and down steps. Also, the girl can walk while holding a toy and change the direction while walking.


Based on the summary, it is possible to analyze Vianna’s current level of functioning in different domains of development. Concerning cognitive skills, it is possible to conclude that the girl possesses them at a moderate level. Such a conclusion can be made from the observation of her favorite actions and the absence of some of the basic patterns predefined as necessary at the pre-operational stage. For instance, Doherty and Hughes (2014) note that imitating pretend play actions is a crucial milestone at this age, but Vianna does not engage in such activities.

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The observation indicates that the child’s social and emotional development is quite good. She does not experience any difficulties when expressing her desires or feelings. However, it is necessary to note that Vianna frequently limits other children’s access to some toys or playing spots. Thus, while it is a positive aspect that she articulates her wishes, it is necessary to perform a thorough analysis of her resistance to playing with other preschoolers.

The domain of speech and language development is slightly low for Vianna’s age. Doherty and Hughes (2014) note that children aged three are expected to use about a thousand words, while Vianna does not operate even a hundred. Thus, it is viable to conclude that the girl’s vocabulary is too poor for her developmental stage. However, observation indicates that the preschooler can generally explain her wishes and emotions well with the available vocabulary.

The fine motor skills checklist demonstrates Vianna’s low development of this domain. The child can perform some basic activities involving fingers rather than hands. However, the majority of expected abilities on the checklist require further promotion. Unlike the previous domain, the girl’s area of gross motor skills is developed excellently. She can do all of the activities included in the checklist independently or with a little help.

Potential Next Steps

According to “How does learning happen?” (HDLH) (2014) pedagogy, there are four main foundational goal areas significant for children’s growth and development. These conditions are “belonging,” “well-being,” “engagement,” and “expression” (“HDLH,” 2014, p. 7). Belonging implies the level of relatedness to others, shaping relationships, and commitment to the group’s goals. It is necessary to make the advancement of the belonging dimension a crucial potential next step on Vianna’s education. Currently, the girl does not associate herself with the group at a relevant level. The area of engagement is closely associated with belonging, and it should also be viewed as the potential next step of the girl’s progress.

The well-being factors which refers to mental and physical wellness (“HDLH,” 2014). This aspect is not the priority step since Vianna is quite capable of regulating her skills and taking care of herself. However, the expression domain should be enhanced since the girl’s speech and language development is slightly low as per observation. It is crucial to include this as a potential next step in the teaching plan because it will give the child an opportunity to enhance her creativity, communication, and problem solving (“HDLH,” 2014).

Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum Options

Based on the assessment, it is possible to come up with the most relevant curriculum options what would promote the child’s needs and enhance the skills which she currently lacks. To improve the child’s belonging dimension, educators should create a suitable context (“HDLH,” 2014). Thus, it is crucial to make links with every child in order to realize their unique spirit and potential. Moreover, it may be helpful to involve the family in the process of transition to make it more comfortable for preschoolers (“HDLH,” 2014). Such an approach will enable Vianna to feel like a part of the group.

The primary curriculum option for enhancing engagement is creating indoor and outdoor activities that “spark curiosity” (“HDLH,” 2014, p. 37). Another approach that might be useful for promoting Vianna’s development in this dimension is inviting her family’s participation to make sure that the educational environment does not differ much from her family settings. Finally, to develop expression, curriculum should include activities that promote children’s communicating skills and encourage their willingness to engage in social interactions.

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Doherty, J., & Hughes, M. (2014). Child development: Theory and practice 0-11 (2nd ed.). Harlow, UK: Pearson.

How does learning happen? Ontario’s pedagogy for the early years. (2014). Web.

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"How Does Learning Happen?" StudyCorgi, 9 June 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "How Does Learning Happen?" June 9, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "How Does Learning Happen?" June 9, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "How Does Learning Happen?" June 9, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'How Does Learning Happen'. 9 June.

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