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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Julia Smith


Department of Educational Studies

Sponsor Department/Program

Department of Educational Studies


Education of a child is mostly understood as teaching practices in schools, but education is also the child’s complete development. The purpose of this case study was to examine the multiple factors that influence a developing child’s cognitive, social emotional, language and physical development. The study considered the ecological factors based on Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Theory (home, school and community) that contribute to the child’s learning and development (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2016). This case study uses Bronfenbrenner’s theory to examine the contextual influences on a developing child through analyzes of the child’s individual self within the microsystem of school, peers, family and community. This inquiry was a 15-week case study that was conducted at a local school in Fort Wayne Community Schools in which one child was observed in the school setting. During the fifteen weeks of the case study, I did six naturalistic observations of the child in the school setting, engaged in informal interviews with the child, teacher and other school staff and collected anecdotal field notes. As a student teacher intern and researcher, I also spent time working with the child one-on-one in the classroom and got to know him on a personal level. The observations were analyzed using concepts of child development research and theories of child development to learn about one child’s unique experience in the classroom. This case study demonstrated a real-life experience of a child and the influential factors of child development looking at cognitive, social emotional, language and physical development. Knowledge acquired during this study was understanding a child’s thought process of the world and learning, good relationships with peers, socialization, and the importance of active and competitive play in school for boys. This case study demonstrates the importance of not only to teaching and mentoring students in the classroom but accommodating content based on each students’ needs.



A Case Study of Child Development: A Student Teacher’s Perspective

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