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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 Observations which are anonymous and are part of class assignments but will not be published or presented at a conference do not need Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval.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

ProgramTypical Age Range (In September) - years.monthsLocation in WimpfheimerNumber of ChildrenHours of Program
Twos/Threes2.3 to 2.9Ground Floor88:00 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 floor128:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Older Threes, Younger Fours3.9 to 4.9“Center Room”, Second floor208:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Fours & Fives; Kindergarten4.9 to 5.9Third Floor208:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Extended Day2.9 to 5.9“Center Room”, Second floor183:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Wimpfheimer Research Facilities Profile

ProgramLocation in WimpfheimerObservation BoothClassroom
Twos/ThreesGround FloorSeats 2 people, no sound equipment1 person
Younger Threes (going on four in the spring)“Corner Room” Second floorSeats 1 person, audio sound equipment1 person
Older Threes, Younger Fours“Center Room” Second floorSeats 4 people Audio sound equipment, cassette taping available2 persons
Fours & Fives; KindergartenThird FloorNo observation booth2 persons