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Title: Understanding Adult Social Stances During a Children's Museum Visit
Authors: Dietmeier, Jeremy
DeVane, Benjamin
Keywords: Learning and Identity
Issue Date: Jun-2020
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS)
Citation: Dietmeier, J. & DeVane, B. (2020). Understanding Adult Social Stances During a Children's Museum Visit. In Gresalfi, M. and Horn, I. S. (Eds.), The Interdisciplinarity of the Learning Sciences, 14th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2020, Volume 1 (pp. 609-612). Nashville, Tennessee: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: A child’s visit to a children’s museum is greatly influenced by the adults that accompany them. This paper presents initial work on adult engagement in children’s museums, the stances they take, and how the environment may impact these stances. To do so, we build off both Falk and Storksdieck’s (2005) contextual model for learning and Shina and Acosta’s (2000) categorization of adult pretend play in children’s museums. Results suggest that adults take on many roles, shifting quickly between being playmates, educators, and timeouts. Adult stances are influenced by the environment as well as personal reasons for visiting the museum and their knowledge and interests. While previous research highlights children’s islands of expertise as a way for adults to relate museum exhibits to a child’s life, we suggest that the adults’ islands of expertise and interest also play an important role on what stances the adults take and meaning making.
Appears in Collections:ICLS 2020

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