- Parent explanation and preschoolers’ exploratory behavior and learning in a shadow exhibition
- Science Education
- Volume | Issue number
- 100 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
The present study fills a gap in existing visitor research by focusing on the preschool age group. The study explores relationships between parent explanation, children's exploratory behavior, and their domain-specific learning in a shadow exhibition. In addition, the effect of a preceding theater show on child and parent behaviors is examined. In the study, parent-child pairs were observed while playing in a science center exhibition illustrating physical principles of shadows. Parent explanation was scored on a number of domain-general categories, such as causal explanations, evidence descriptions, and content-related directions. Preschoolers’ exploratory behavior and learning were quantified by using nonverbal measures. The Exploratory Behavior Scale was used to assess children's exploration of the physical environment. Children's learning was assessed in the knowledge domain of shadow size. Results showed a positive relationship between one type of parent explanation, evidence descriptions, and preschoolers’ exploratory behavior. No positive relationships between children's exploration and their domain-specific learning or between parent explanation and children's domain-specific learning were found. Last, theater attendance was found to affect children's learning on shadow size.
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