Nature of Interactions Among Young Children and Adult Caregivers in a Children’s Museum
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This naturalistic, qualitative study examines the nature of child- and adult-led interactions in a children’s museum. Using dialogic learning as a theoretical framework, the study examines how children and adults engage in interactions while learning at a museum. Findings suggest that children and adults are almost equally likely to lead interactions; however, most child-led interactions are qualitatively different from adult-led interactions. Children are more likely to show-and-tell about their experiences and learn by asking questions and commenting about their play. Adults are more likely to teach by telling, prompting, and reporting a child’s activities. Children and adults also are equally engage in pretend play during their interactions. Leveraging these findings, recommendations are made for museum exhibit space design.
KeywordsChild–adult interactions Informal learning Museum Child-led Adult-led Dialogic learning
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