Effects of Observational Strategy on Preschool Pupils Social Skills and Cooperation during Play in Educational District IV Lagos State



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Learning environments that promote healthy child development and effective social skills are based upon the successful integration of techniques/adaptations that are implemented by the teacher through the process of regular observation strategy.   All pupils need to learn appropriate social skills and cooperation during play to have a healthy lifestyle as a child, teen, and adult. With appropriate social skills and cooperation during play, pupils can make and keep friends, give and get respect from peers and adults, self-advocate, and gain needed self-respect, self-confidence, and independence (Weber, Scheuermann, McCall and Coleman, 2012). Growing up with these healthy social skills and attitude can help a child be an independent, well-rounded, socially acceptable individual who can make his own decisions and plan his own future. Below are strategies for both parents and teachers (Wolfgang and Glickman, 2014).

A child’s academic success is often dependent on his or her ability to attend to tasks and teacher’s classroom expectations with minimal distraction. Such skill enables a pupil to acquire necessary information, complete assignments, and participate in classroom activities and discussions (Cangelosi, 2015). When a child exhibits behaviors associated with poor social skills and cooperation during play, consequences may include difficulties with academics and with forming relationships with his or her peers if appropriate instructional methodologies and interventions are not implemented.

Chernow and Chernow (2014), children with poor social attitude and its associated conditions frequently have problems at school including underachievement, difficulties with social skills and low self-esteem. They may experience teasing or bullying.

Most children are naturally curious about their surroundings and eagerly participate in learning activities. For some children, however, it is difficult to identify what motivates them to be more fully engaged. Teachers who pay attention to what children do and say can usually find out what motivates them. This is true for all children, but even more so for children with disabilities because they may not exhibit the same kinds of behaviors as their typically developing peers (Beck, 2015). Teachers who successfully work with children who have special needs are diligent in identifying child interests by collaborating with families and other service providers who know the child. This knowledge, coupled with teaching skills, is essential to determine how to use individual information about children to work toward desired outcomes for them. For example, identifying familiar, common objects is a skill mastered by most Early Childhood children and is a goal on many individualized education plans (IEPs). Some young children, however, have little interest in typical objects in early childhood classrooms. This does not mean that these children are not interested in object but rather that their interests fall outside the spectrum of items that appeal to most young children (Osman, 2013).

Teachers certainly want to encourage young children to be able to identify and name common objects. This skill is necessary for language and literacy development, and provides a common frame of reference for interactions with peers. Teachers who know children well can identify what is likely to motivate them to develop an interest in everyday early childhood learning materials (Diller, 2012).

Observation during play gives teachers the information needed to further enhance that child’s dramatic play and in turn furthering his or her development. Through observation, teachers are also able to show growth and improvements over time to share with parents and administrators. Teachers may also act as mediators during play. The teacher may need to intervene to help settle a dispute or to suggest materials or props to a Early Childhood who is lost during dramatic play to help engage that child back into play. Teachers could act as mediators, supporting children’s interactions with materials as well as with other children (Ashiabi, 2007). It is important teachers understand their role as mediators and facilitators of dramatic play, remembering the objectives, but allowing play to remain child-centered and free form.

Observation strategy has often been built into familiar activities such as mentoring, opportunity for reflective dialogue with and among pupils; organizing scheduled meetings, coaching sessions, and follow-up. Social skills activities provide parents and teachers with opportunities to observe the social skills of Early Childhoods and guide them to improved social behavior. Some of the activities that help Early Childhood children to master important social skills are making conversation, negotiating with peers and handling conflict. Effective teachers use a number of observational intervention techniques to help pupils learn how to control their behavior. Perhaps the most important and effective of these is verbal reinforcement of appropriate behavior. The most common form of verbal reinforcement is praise given to a pupil when he or she begins and completes an activity or exhibits a particular desired behavior (Beck, 2015).

Cooperation during play offers the opportunity and time for children to develop skills necessary for success in life and in school. Among others is the important skill of self regulation. Without the ability to control one’s own emotions and behaviors, and the understanding of other’s emotions and behaviors, a child will continually have difficulty in school as well as in life through his or her social interactions. Dramatic play provides children the opportunity to understand the world around them and develop the social and emotional skills necessary for a healthy developmentally appropriate life. The researcher hopes to use a successful method of dramatic play in order to show optimal social and emotional growth among her Early Childhoods (Cangelosi, 2015).


Children with poor social skills and cooperation during play are at greater risk for longer term negative outcomes, such as lower educational and employment attainment (Beck, 2015). Indeed, it is not sufficient to merely consider poor social skills and cooperation symptoms during school hours.

Among the pre-school children age group there is often unusually poor intensity of play and excessive motor restlessness. Associated difficulties, such as delayed development, oppositional behaviour, and poor social skills, may also be present. If poor social skills and cooperation during play is a possibility, it is vital to offer targeted school-based advice and support. Even at this early stage parental stress may be huge when a child does not respond to ordinary parental requests and behavioural advice.

Poor concentration, high levels of activity, and impulsiveness are frequent characteristics of normal Early Childhood children observation problem.

In addition to poverty-related risks for children’s social, emotional and conduct problems, research also shows that teachers with poor classroom management skills have higher overall levels of classroom aggression, peer rejection and exclusion which, in turn, compound the development of individual children’s social and conduct problems. Moreover, it seems that children who are at highest risk are often taught by teachers who are the least prepared to handle challenging behavior; teachers serving predominantly low-income children use more harsh, detached, and ineffective teaching strategies than those teaching middle-income children.

Children with conduct problems are also more likely to be disliked by teachers and receive less academic or social instruction, support, and positive feedback from teachers for appropriate behavior. Consequently, children with conduct problems grow to like school less, have lower school attendance and increased risk for underachievement, academic failure, and future adjustment problems (Dodge and Price, 2014). Therefore, this study seeks to investigate effects of observational strategy on Early Childhood pupils’ social skills and cooperation during play.


The study will examine effects of observational strategy on Early Childhood pupils’ social skills and cooperation during play. Specifically, the study aims:

  • To examine the effect of observational strategy in pre-school classroom performance.
  • To examine the perceived challenges of observational strategy among pupils social skills and cooperation during play.
  • To examine the psychological effect of observational strategy on pupils’ relationship with peers.


In assessing the purpose of the study, this research project intends to answer the following questions: The study seeks to be guided by the following research questions:

  • To what extent will observational strategy affect pre-school classroom performance?
  • What are the perceived challenges of observational strategy among pupils social skills and cooperation during play?
  • What are psychological effects of observational strategy on pupils’ relationship with peers?


The following hypothesis was intended to be used for the study:

H1:      Observational strategy has significant effect on Early Childhood pupils’ social skills and cooperation during play.


The study will examine effects of observational strategy on Early Childhood pupils social skills and cooperation during play. The variable scopes of the study are: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and pre-school education while the geographical scope of the study is limited to Private Nursery Schools in Lagos-Mainland, Lagos.


The significance of the study lies in the hope that the findings may be of benefit to:

The Ministry of education where the study may be used to understand the observational strategy on Early Childhood pupils’ social skills and cooperation during play.

Again, it will enable both public and private schools to be able to plan systematically for effective monitoring and better observational strategy on Early Childhood pupils’ social skills and cooperation during play. Other stakeholders of education (parents, pupils, lecturers, support staff, donors, will use the study as a checkpoint to act as a safeguard against any future happenings of the same nature.

The study helps academics to reduce or carefully observed Early Childhood pupils’ social skills and cooperation during play which could be detrimental to their mind to avoid anti-social development or behaviour.


  • Observation:  Observation is a process of systematically viewing and recording Early Childhoods behavior for the purpose of making programming decisions
  • Observation Strategy: Observation Strategy is the strategy adopted to checkmate the activities of pre-schoolers in the learning environment
  • Cooperative Play: Cooperative play involves the division of efforts among children in order to reach a common goal.
  • Social Skill: A social skill is any skill facilitating interaction and communication with others. Social rules and relations are created, communicated, and changed in verbal and nonverbal ways.
  • Early Childhood: A Early Childhood is an educational establishment or learning space offering early childhood education to children, usually between the ages of three and five, prior to the commencement of compulsory education at primary school.
  • Infant/Toddler Education: This is a subset of early childhood education which denote the education of children from birth to age two
  • Classroom: This a room in which a class of pupils or Early Childhoods is taught.
  • Childhood: Childhood is the age span ranging from birth to adolescence.
  • Education: Education is the process of facilitating learning or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits.

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