Exploring staff facilitation that supports family learning

September 17th, 2014 | RESEARCH

Front-line educators are arguably critical to the visitor experience at museums and science centers across the country. However, little research exists to inform staff facilitation strategies or professional development efforts. In this article, we describe the results of a qualitative study of 63 staff family interactions in a science center, focusing particularly on the role of adult family members. We observed three distinct phases of interaction, during which adult family members acted as gatekeepers to deeper staff engagement. The results suggest that in order to successfully facilitate family learning, museum educators must carefully consider the role of adults and the unique social context of museums learning.


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Team Members

Oregon State University, Contributor
Scott Pattison, Author, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
Lynn Dierking, Author, Oregon State University


Identifier Type: issn
Identifier: 1059-8650

Publication: Journal of Museum Education
Volume: 37
Number: 3
Page(s): 69


Audience: Adults | Families | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals | Parents | Caregivers
Discipline: Chemistry | Physics
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Museum and Science Center Exhibits | Museum and Science Center Programs

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This material is supported by National Science Foundation award DRL-2229061, with previous support under DRL-1612739, DRL-1842633, DRL-1212803, and DRL-0638981. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations contained within InformalScience.org are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.

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