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Leuven commitment scale – observation and evaluation in the day care center

Ein EU-Projekt zur Steigerung der Erziehungsqualität.

This article deals with the observation and professional evaluation of this observation using the Leuven commitment scale. The structure follows the classic scenario. First, observations take place during the free game. With these observations it is now important to pay attention to signals that are used in the Leuven commitment scale. Here, for example, you could call the signal self-confidence or assertiveness. In combination with the levels 1, 3, 5 (previously 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) a classification can now be made.

After several observations have been made in different situations, conclusions can be drawn about the interests and topic of the child. These in turn can now be used for further pedagogical planning.

Below you will find a practical example with three observations, evaluations and a short pedagogical plan for the further procedure, after all we want to make a difference with the results of the observation.

1st observation – Klara in the play kitchen

Observation log

K. is with E. and C. in the middle area of the play kitchen. K. turns to her left side and says to E: “Let’s do magic and use both hands for it!” At the same moment, K. lifts both hands up at the same time so that they are stretched out at shoulder height. K. now says: “Let’s make C. a monkey!”. Immediately after the testimony, K. turns her head further to the left and looks at C with fixed eyes and facial expressions. E. does not respond.

K. waits 5 seconds and then goes to the right area of the play kitchen. K. calls to C. twice in a row in a louder tone: “Do you want to bake cake?” C. looks at K. and says quietly: “No”. K. then turns quickly to the right and puts both arms outstretched on a higher cupboard next to the play kitchen. K. looks around the room with his eyes and wiggles both feet forwards and backwards. After 30 seconds, K. goes back to C. in the play kitchen area and says: “These are paper towels, we mustn’t tear them up”.

C. does not react to the statement and K. goes to a teacher at the other end of the room. K. waits until the teacher has finished talking and says: “C. uses handkerchiefs and tears them up. We are not allowed to do that ”. The educator says to K: “Please tell C. not to tear any more cloths”. K. then goes back to C. in the play kitchen area and says: “We are not allowed to tear up paper towels and I will say stop now and you are then no longer allowed to move!

You can only dance after the stop ”. C. does not respond to the statement. E. stands to the left of C. and turns to K. after the statement and says: “Okay, but I’ll start!” K. rolls his eyes and then goes to a roller shutter on the left in front of the play kitchen. K. grabs the cable with both hands and begins to swing the cable to the right. When swinging back, K. holds on to the rope and repeats the swing 9 times. K. sees me sitting and comes to me. K. asks: “Can we do magic together?”

Well-being & commitment

Well-being level 4 | Commitment level 1-2

Justification for well-being

K. is open and receptive to her surroundings by making contact with other children (E. & C.) and looking for play situations. K. also observes the behavior of other children in their environment (K. observes another child tearing paper). The facial expression is open during the observation time. When doing magic, the facial expression and especially the eyes are focused directly on the close child C. K. receives glances while communicating and returns them during the conversation. K. can also express negative feelings (rolls her eyes because she doesn’t want something). Due to the intensity of the openness area, the number 4 is assigned.

During the observation it was not possible to determine whether K. can quickly adapt to a new environment or whether she can act in a manner adapted to new situations. K. also showed no willingness to compromise or accept the children’s alternatives (E. would like to start with the proposed game, but K. just rolls his eyes and walks away). This is why the area of flexibility is assigned level 2 .

K. shows self-confidence through clear and understandable statements (e.g. “Let’s make C. a monkey”). K. also tries to draw attention to her wishes by asking several times (K. calls to C. twice in a row: “Do you want to bake cake?”. K. only reacts briefly to the subsequent refusals by the other children, but does not allow himself to be permanently burdened by the failure. For these reasons, level 5 is assigned to the self-confidence area .

K. demands attention from her surroundings, on the one hand by making contact and asking them to play with the other children, and on the other hand by contacting the teacher because of the tearing of the paper towels. K. adequately communicates his own needs and concerns (requests for games, suggestions, the wish that everyone abides by the rules). K. cannot be influenced by other children, she rather sticks to her game idea (E. would like to start with the proposed game, but K. just rolls his eyes and walks away because it is not what she imagined). This also proves that K. does not simply respond to the ideas of other children. Therefore, level 5 is assigned for the area of assertiveness .

In the area of vitality, only bright eyes and an upright posture can be determined, which could be determined during the entire observation and was especially visible when doing magic with both hands. Therefore level 2 is assigned for the area of vitality .

K.’s movements were always calm and fluid in their movements. The body was only tense for certain actions (e.g. magic), but otherwise relaxed. Conversations and statements by K. were at a normal speaking pace and without increased volume. Level 4 is awarded for relaxation and inner peace .

Signals for the area enjoyment could not be observed, therefore level 1 is assigned here. Nevertheless, during the observation period, K. was always in tune with herself and her wishes and thoughts, which was shown by clear statements and ideas. This also confirms that K. seems to know for himself what she needs. That is why I assign level 4 to the area of being in harmony with oneself .

In summary, I assign level 4 to the area of wellbeing on the Leuven commitment scale.

Justification for commitment

K. limits her attention to the area of the play kitchen and the pull of the window blind. She has no visible signs of the energy signal. Even with the signal of complexity , complexity and creativity , there are no visible complex actions or activities that go beyond routine activities. When it comes to facial expressions, it was possible to observe intensified facial expressions and intense “looking”, especially when “doing magic in the play kitchen area”. In the signal range of endurance , no signals could be detected during the observation. K. did not stay with one thing for long and as a result there was no concentration on one activity. K. also started several different games during the observation period.

K. did not carry out detailed accuracy or conscious, careful and precise action. However, she was active in the play kitchen area and reacted immediately when C. tore paper handkerchiefs that are not allowed. However, the other two signals of readiness to react could not be observed. Verbally , K. expressed himself through spontaneous expressions such as “Let’s make C. a monkey or do you want to bake cakes?” K. did not express an in-depth conversation with himself, enthusiastic telling or spontaneous sounds. In the signal area of satisfaction, K. had positive facial expressions during the observation period when doing magic. During the rest of the observation time, other signals such as joy, enjoyment or the like were not perceptible.

In summary, I assign level 1-2 for the area of commitment according to the Leuven commitment scale.

Perspectives & interests of the child

From K.’s point of view, she feels well in the group and knows how to deal with herself and the children as well as the educators. However, she didn’t really come into play because she was only supposed to play with the other children according to the other ideas and guidelines. Furthermore, the other children have already played and K. could not integrate into the game. K.’s possible interests could be sorcery, witches, fantasy or baking. All of these interests became apparent during the observation.

2. Observation – Klara in the studio

Observation log

K. is sitting at the painting table in the studio and is tinkering with white sheets of paper together with E., who is sitting on her right. K. throws a white sheet of paper at E. with his right hand and says: “Great, isn’t it?”. E. takes the sheet of paper with both hands and throws it in the air as well. E. then says to K: “An airplane!” And K. reacts with the words: “No, this is a submarine that can fly!”. Both look at each other and laugh out loud. K. now grabs the wax pencils with his right hand and tries to sharpen them with a sharpener that she is holding in her left hand.

K. tries this for 15 seconds. K. now tries to press the wax pencil in more firmly with his right hand. She lifts both hands up to look into the transparent sharpener. K. now puts the pencil and sharpener on the table in front of him and grabs the yellow scissors with his right hand, which are also in front of her. K. now takes the scissors with both hands, lifts them in front of her face and turns the scissors 7x in a circle. Here she opens and closes the scissors 10 times in a row. Her eyes are firmly focused on the scissors and her facial expressions are tense.

Now K. performs the movements 1x slowly. K. takes a white sheet of paper from the table with his left hand and wedges it between the scissors. K. turns his head to the right to E. and says: “Look E., that’s a magic wand that is now being shared. Do you want one too? ” E. replies to K: “Yes, I would. But then we do our magic together! “. K. then says to E: “Then let’s do our magic together. That doesn’t exist at all, but then it does. ”E. then said back to K.:“ Of course there is magic! ”. K. replied: “Hex Hex Hex!”.

Well-being & commitment

Well-being level 3 | Commitment level 4

Justification for well-being

K. is open and receptive to her surroundings in the studio area, as she interacts with E. During the observation, K. has a direct facial expression, which is particularly evident when “looking at E. during the airplane / submarine discussion.” Here, K. also returns E.’s looks. The signals from the area of flexibility , such as finding one’s way around quickly or adapting to new and unfamiliar situations, could not be recognized during the observation. There were also no problems or frustrations during the observation period.

In the area of self-confidence and self-esteem , K. tried to sharpen a pencil that was too thick during the observation time and tried several times to get this pencil into the too small sharpener. In this situation, K. tried to solve something, even with the risk of not being able to do it. The eventual failure did not sadden K. While they were doing handicrafts together, K. claimed attention from E. (expressed by throwing a sheet of paper or asking about the magic wand). K. also expressed her own ideas about the blank sheet by saying to E.: “No, this is a submarine that can fly!”. In the signal area of vitality, an upright posture and an energetic impression when exploring the scissors could be determined during the entire observation time.

K.’s muscles were not cramped and K.’s movements were carried out at normal speed and evenly. K. spoke to E. at normal speaking pace and at normal volume. Being able to enjoy the signal area shows K. enthusiasm for the blank sheet as well as for the scissors. K. seems to know for himself what she needs.

In summary, I assign level 3 to the area of well-being according to the Leuven commitment scale.

Justification for commitment

K. has a specific focus on a delimited area, which is shown by closely observing the scissors. K. also focuses the scissors over a longer period of time, which means that his eyes are focused almost continuously on the activity. Even external stimuli such as high volume due to the large group size did not distract or disturb K. She was eager and enthusiastic about the scissors and the throwing of the blank sheet with E., which is also shown by the conversation between K. and E. and the mutual laughter. I could not determine more complex actions or activities that go beyond routine activities and individual contributions during the observation period.

The posture of K., especially when observing the scissors, showed tense facial expressions as well as an intense “look and look at” the object. K. stayed with the matter while observing the scissors and explored them over a longer period of time (turn 7x in a circle | open and close 10x). The signal endurance is accordingly strongly represented. Precise movements also took place while rotating and moving the scissors. K. paid close attention to the opening and closing process of the scissors. She always opened and closed the scissors consciously and carefully. K. was always awake during the observation in the studio.

Spontaneous expressions such as laughter could be observed while tinkering with the white sheets. However, she did not accompany herself with words and spontaneous sounds. Enthusiastic storytelling could not be observed. During the observation period, joy in K.’s activity could be observed. She enjoyed doing handicrafts and laughing with EK and always had a friendly and open facial expression towards E.

In summary, I assign level 4 for the area of commitment according to the Leuven commitment scale.

Perspectives & interests of the child

K. likes to do handicrafts with E., because they can exchange ideas about their individual ideas. K. cut a flying submarine out of a white sheet of paper with the scissors, but E. recognized it as an airplane. Both found their versions funny and laughed together. The interests of K. and E. are similar, since both recognized a magic wand directly in the cut strip of paper and wanted to use it together. Possible interests of K. could be airplanes, witches, sorcery or in general the area of fantasy / philosophy, since at the end of the observation both talked about the existence of sorcery.

3. Observation – Klara in the garden

Observation log

K. gallops as fast as a horse in the outdoor area from the swing to the three climbing poles. She has tied a red rope around her stomach. M. lifts the end of the rope. Arrived at the climbing poles, K. loosens the rope from her stomach and puts it in M.’s hand. K.’s cheeks are red and his face is sweaty. K. says to M: “Now I was the unicorn and now it’s your turn.” M. answers back to K: “Let’s build a stable first.” K. takes the rope back with his right hand and starts it to be tied to the small climbing pole with both hands.

K. whispers softly: “Horse, horse, horse, stable, stable, stable.” After both ropes are firmly tied to a swing, K. says to M: “That this is the stable, you have to get in here, you are now the horse.” M. nods his head and stands with both legs on it hanging rope. K. turns directly to the right and simultaneously picks up leaves from the floor with his right and left hand. She throws the leaves at M. and says: “Here horse is your lunch” and laughs out loud. M. looks at K. and starts to laugh too. K. says to M: “Come on, give me the rope, I’ll tie it to you and then we’ll run to O., maybe he’s a unicorn too”. M. says: “oh yes” and goes down from the rope.

K. then loosens the rope from the climbing pole and ties it to M. M. runs off before K. has tightened the rope. K. calls out loudly: “Halt, stop M. the rope is loose.” M. then stops and K. can pull the rope tighter. Both then run like a galloping horse to the other end of the garden to an educator.

Well-being & commitment

Well-being level 4-5 | Commitment level 5

Justification for well-being

K. receives and returns glances with M. Her gaze is always open and direct. During the game, K. exudes a good deal of self-confidence, which is particularly evident when galloping hard and hard. By tying the rope to the climbing pole, K. looks for challenges that match her ability and level. K. demands attention from M. and wants to be included in decisions in the game. K. also represents his own wishes and concerns (shouts out loud: “stop, M. the rope is loose” or says to M: “now I was the unicorn and now it’s your turn”). Your behavior during observation is full of life and energy. Joy of life and strength can also be recognized. The red cheeks and the sweaty face testify to this.

The speaking speed with M. is always calm and slow. Short pauses in speaking occurred after galloping due to physical activity. After this, however, K. is quickly completely relaxed again. K. shows authentic joy and enthusiasm during the game. She lived through the experience of this game intensely and felt connected to M. as a play partner and nature (leaves). K. continues to give the impression that she is in harmony with his own needs and wishes.

In summary, I assign the level 4-5 for the area of well-being according to the Leuven commitment scale.

Justification for commitment

During the entire free game, K. limits her attention to what is happening between her and M. Her eyes are constantly focused on the activity and loud ambient noises from the other children do not distract her from her activity. Enthusiasm and physical energy can be seen in their movements (e.g. when galloping). K. also sweats from the movement and has red cheeks.

The game becomes more complex as the roles are swapped and additional actions such as Fetch food and attach the rope to the climbing pole as a stable. Here, K.’s individual ideas and trains of thought become visible. The facial expression shows physical tension. However, intensive looking and observing cannot be recognized separately. K. has a lot of stamina in the game. She gallops across the outdoor play area and is always on the ball during the observation time.

The accuracy signal can be observed particularly when the rope is carefully attached to the climbing pole. K. is always active and steadfast in the matter. K. quickly picks up on M.’s idea (let’s run to O.!) And implements it. While K. attaches the rope to the pole, she accompanies her actions with the words: “Horse, horse, horse, stable, stable, stable”. The activity gives K. joy and K.’s experience and action suggests an “experience as a spiritual experience.”

In summary, I assign level 5 to the area of commitment according to the Leuven commitment scale.

Perspectives & interests of the child

K. likes to play with E. and M., especially in the free play area of the outdoor area. K. likes to use ropes and other natural materials such as leaves for play. The interests of K. became very clear here again and can be narrowed down to the areas of animals, nature and fantasy / philosophy .

Summary of interests and topic

Based on the three observations carried out with the Leuven commitment scale, three interests can be clearly filtered out:

  1. sorcery
  2. Witches
  3. Fantasy / philosophizing

In combination with everyday observations, these three interests can be further narrowed down to the areas of fantasy and philosophizing. K. questions the processes of natural mechanisms and, when specifically asked by an educator, already sets up hypotheses which she confirms or rejects again through her own considerations. During free play with other children in particular, I have often observed that K. is involved in discussions with other children when things don’t go according to their ideas. K then often shows a low tolerance for frustration and simply leaves the area of discussion. This was also evident from the first observation.

The current topic could, for example, be the “function of the world”. Based on the observations, the topic “My place in the community” is also in the room.

Conclusions for the ped. job

I could imagine a deepening of the commitment through a targeted offer with a Kamishibai . In this the topic could be “philosophizing together in the group”. This could take up the interest that was constantly shown in the three observations and increase K.’s commitment. The story “Emma – without you the world would only be half as beautiful” is particularly suitable for this. The level of commitment could be further increased through dialogical presentations.


citation suggestion

Götz, S. (2021). Leuven engagement scale – observation and evaluation in the day-care center. An EU project to increase the quality of education. Accessed 11/04/2021. Available at: https://krippenzeit.de/leuvener-engagiertheitsskala/

Sebastian Götz
Sebastian Götzhttps://krippenzeit.de
"Ich lerne für den besten Job der Welt und möchte euch hier auf Krippenzeit daran teilhaben lassen."
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