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Title:Parental scaffolding: a case study of low-income families at a children's museum
Author(s):Sriprachya-anunt, Wasana
Director of Research:Hetrick, Laura J
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hetrick, Laura J
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Stake, Robert E.; Rosenthal, Lisa; Smith, Stephanie C; Wood, Elizabeth
Department / Program:Art & Design
Discipline:Art Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Parental scaffolding
parental involvement
children’s museum
early childhood education
museum learning
Abstract:This study examines scaffolding behaviors that low-income parents used in a children’s museum. The primary research question is "How might low-income parents scaffold their preschool-aged children in an early childhood exhibition in a children’s museum?" with a supporting question of "How is parental scaffolding facilitated or constrained by the exhibit environment and the interpretive programs?" Drawing upon the case study method, the Playscape at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis was selected as the intrinsic and instrumental case of the study. The study involved interviews and naturalistic observations with the museum staff and twelve dyads of low-income, who were members of the Access Pass program in Indianapolis. In addition, three families made repeated visits to the Playscape within 5 months from the first visit and participated in in-depth interviews regarding their museum experiences. The findings show that the low-income parents used scaffolding behaviors with their children at the exhibit areas where problem-solving tasks were explicitly pre-defined. More importantly, they used a wide range of learning and skill-enhancing behaviors to instill school readiness skills, particularly language development, early literacy, social skills, and general knowledge. The results also reveal that parents' agendas and the perceptions of their roles and children's learning differed from the museum staff's expectations of the parental roles in the exhibition and their goal of increasing parental involvement in children’s play.
Issue Date:2016-04-08
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Wasana Sriprachya-anunt
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05

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