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Two Types of Research: Observational and Direct Contact

Observational Research: a definition

Observational research is defined as research which does not involve direct interaction or contact with the children outside of the child's typical, daily routines and activities. The researcher may be in an observation booth, seated directly in the classroom, or on the playground. The researcher DOES NOT remove the child from the classroom.

Observational research may include the use of video tape recorders, audio tape recorders, event recorders or hand-written notes. Children are not identified by name and all observational material is erased or destroyed at the completion of the project.

All protocols for this type of research must be approved by the Director of Wimpfheimer Nursery School prior to the beginning of the observational period. Observations which are anonymous and are part of class assignments but will not be published or presented at a conference do not need Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. Observations which will potentially result in publication or professional use must have IRB approval and separate parent consent.

Parents of the children enrolled in this school are asked to sign consent forms permitting observational research for educational purposes. Consent is given for the school year.

Direct Contact Research: a definition

Any research involving direct contact with the child requires the approval of Wimpfheimer's director and separate IRB approval. It is requested that researchers discuss their ideas with the Director prior to seeking IRB approval. (See Checklist for Faculty Supervising or Conducting Research at Wimpfheimer Nursery School.) As part of the IRB process, children may not participate without the written consent of the parent.

Wimpfheimer Program Profile

Program Typical Age Range (In September) - years.months Location in Wimpfheimer Number of Children Hours of Program
Twos/Threes 2.3 to 2.9 Ground Floor 8 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Younger Threes (going on four in the spring ) 2.9 to 3.9 "Corner Room", Second floor 12 8:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Older Threes, Younger Fours 3.9 to 4.9 "Center Room", Second floor 20 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Fours & Fives; Kindergarten 4.9 to 5.9 Third Floor 20 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Extended Day 2.9 to 5.9 "Center Room", Second floor 18 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Wimpfheimer Research Facilities Profile

Program Location in Wimpfheimer Observation Booth Classroom
Twos/Threes Ground Floor Seats 2 people, no sound equipment 1 person
Younger Threes (going on four in the spring) "Corner Room" Second floor Seats 1 person, audio sound equipment 1 person
Older Threes, Younger Fours "Center Room" Second floor Seats 4 people Audio sound equipment, cassette taping available 2 persons
Fours & Fives; Kindergarten Third Floor No observation booth 2 persons