1500 Views
  1. Cristine Legare
  2. http://www.cristinelegare.com
  3. Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. University of Texas at Austin, Thinkery
  1. Adrienne Barnett
  2. http://www.thinkeryaustin.org
  3. Director of Learning Experiences
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Thinkery

Supporting Adults as Children’s Learning Facilitators: A Museum-University Pa...

MA-10-19-0438-19

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6, Adult learners, Informal / multi-age

Thinkery Connect is a museum-university-community research partnership between Thinkery-Austin Children's Museum (PI Adrienne Barnett) and The Center for Applied Cognitive Science at The University of Texas at Austin Department of Psychology (PI Professor Cristine Legare). The objective of this partnership is to translate best practices from learning sciences into museum operations. Our educational philosophy is grounded in play-based, inquiry-rich learning experiences. Our approach to exhibit development is to design visitor experiences that encourage STEM "Habits of Mind" such as critical thinking, systematic exploration, resolute behavior, hypothesis-testing, experimentation, and trouble-shooting. These skills are critical to early STEM learning as well as to school readiness more generally. Our research partnership focuses on developing exhibits that enhance caregiver and child STEM learning experiences and support STEM Habits of Mind both inside and outside the museum walls with curated educational resource material. Focusing on STEM Habits of Mind that support school readiness skills can help communities better prepare children for school and set the foundation for lifelong learning. Thanks to generous funding from IMLS, we have constructed Thinkery Connect Headquarters (HQ) which allows us to 1) conduct research on caregiver and child interaction and learning, 2) evaluate visitor experience, 3) prototype exhibit design features and modifications, and 4) collaborate with community partners throughout the city and the state to support early childhood education and development.

This video has had approximately 283 visits by 215 visitors from 98 unique locations. It has been played 128 times.
activity map thumbnail Click to See Activity Worldwide
Map reflects activity with this presentation from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase website, as well as the STEM For All Multiplex website.
Based on periodically updated Google Analytics data. This is intended to show usage trends but may not capture all activity from every visitor.
show more
Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (24 posts)
  • Icon for: Cristine Legare

    Cristine Legare

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 10, 2021 | 03:48 p.m.

    We are delighted to share Thinkery Connect, our museum-university-community research partnership based in Austin, Texas with you. Our formal partnership is new, but many years in the making. We warmly welcome suggestions for how to most effectively and inclusively apply insights from learning sciences to informal learning environments and how to make research relevant and actionable to educational practitioners. 

  • Icon for: Aman Yadav

    Aman Yadav

    Facilitator
    Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 08:39 a.m.

    Great to see that you are connecting children's learning to science behind the exhibits. What are some of the lessons you have learned about what parents need to support scientific reasoning in children both in the museum and at home? 

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Cristine Legare
  • Icon for: Cristine Legare

    Cristine Legare

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 12:41 p.m.

    We've found that suggestions to parents (via conversation cards, facilitation, and signage) to encourage systematic exploration, persistence, trouble shooting, and explanation are very effective. Often parents don't recognize these as critical STEM process skills, so making these salient is informative. 

  • Icon for: Dario Cvencek

    Dario Cvencek

    Researcher
    May 18, 2021 | 02:10 a.m.

    Very impressive and creative approach to building bridges between formal and informal learning environments. We have a similar partnership with the Pacific Science Center here in Seattle (https://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/exhibits/t...) and we are finding that parents often respond very positively to just sharing data in real time. Public is often "blind" to where scientific data comes from, what  it looks like, and what happens after it’s collected. Just demystifying that process can often help parents and children engage more with the activities. Would love to talk more and share ideas!

  • Icon for: Judy Brown

    Judy Brown

    Informal Educator
    May 11, 2021 | 10:19 a.m.

    Love your design of gallery hub that allows practitioners and researchers the space to work together in the midst of "reality", rather than in a separate or remote lab.  Think you might find some of the observation tools we used in our project useful. You can find them in the Move2 Learn PRISM toolkit through the project page on InformalScience.org 

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Cristine Legare
  • Icon for: Cristine Legare

    Cristine Legare

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 12:42 p.m.

    These are terrific, thanks very much for sharing!!

     

  • Icon for: Cristine Legare

    Cristine Legare

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 01:56 p.m.

    The Thinkery Connect website is now live: https://thinkeryaustin.org/thinkery-connect/

  • Icon for: NATHAN KIMBALL

    NATHAN KIMBALL

    Facilitator
    Curriculum Developer
    May 12, 2021 | 11:27 a.m.

    Hi Christine and Adrienne, what a lovely and important focus on early learners and the community that supports them and also your work creating of a dynamic space for learning and research. I have so many questions as we only have a glimpse of your work. One is how can you convey to parents or caregivers the kind of support that is helpful in child learning (the Habits of Mind you mention)?  Another question is what research methods do you use to evaluate and improve activity design? 

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Cristine Legare
  • Icon for: Cristine Legare

    Cristine Legare

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 12:47 p.m.

    Thanks very much for your comment. We've found that suggestions to parents (via conversation cards, facilitation, and signage) to encourage their children to engage in systematic exploration, persistence, trouble shooting, and explanation are very effective. Often parents don't recognize these as critical STEM process skills or "STEM Habits of Mind", so making these salient is informative. We use a variety of research methods to evaluate and improve design (including conducting pre-post tests using experiments and observational research). We recently published an SRCD monograph that you might find informative: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/53485734...

  • Icon for: NATHAN KIMBALL

    NATHAN KIMBALL

    Facilitator
    Curriculum Developer
    May 12, 2021 | 02:28 p.m.

    Thank you, Christine! The reference you supplied certainly does look informative. I like that you see exploration and explanation as collaborative endeavors. I'll be interested to read that in more detail. 

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Cristine Legare
  • May 12, 2021 | 01:35 p.m.

    This video does a great job describing some of the opportunities of university researcher-museum partnerships. Can you provide/elaborate on an example of how research findings have informed practice at Thinkery? How has practice guided the research questions you address?

  • Icon for: Adrienne Barnett

    Adrienne Barnett

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Learning Experiences
    May 12, 2021 | 02:37 p.m.

    In our current project we are introducing exhibit interventions like updated signage, new loose parts, and prompt cards into our galleries based on key research findings. These interventions are aimed at providing caregivers, including Thinkery staff, tools to further parent child engagement at specific exhibits. On the flip side, practice and understanding local community needs has opened up new areas of study for our partnerships, such as research on best practices in STEAM-based exhibit design for fostering STEM Habits of Mind and kindergarten readiness skills. Also, during the pandemic, Thinkery opened a preschool onsite, Little Thinkers Preschool (https://thinkeryaustin.org/programs/preschool/) and we are expanding our research on play-based, STEAM learning into our preschool. 

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Cristine Legare
  • Icon for: Kevin Garner

    Kevin Garner

    K-12 Administrator
    May 12, 2021 | 09:36 p.m.

    Enjoyed seeing you connect children's learning to science beyond/behind the exhibits. Have you worked with the local schools to supplement their existing curriculum? 

  • Icon for: Cristine Legare

    Cristine Legare

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 13, 2021 | 01:07 p.m.

    We are in the process of building these partnerships currently, and have met with a local school district recently in fact. We are also working with community partners that serve diverse families in the region.

  • Icon for: Candice Woods

    Candice Woods

    Manager, Development and Partnerships
    May 13, 2021 | 12:51 p.m.

    I enjoyed learning more about the Thinkery.  To add on to Kevin's question - have you worked with other local informal education organizations to supplement their existing curriculum? 

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Cristine Legare
  • Icon for: Cristine Legare

    Cristine Legare

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 13, 2021 | 01:08 p.m.

    We are working on this currently :)

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Candice Woods
  • Icon for: David Lockett

    David Lockett

    Facilitator
    Albert Einstein Fellow
    May 14, 2021 | 02:34 p.m.

    Great video! I enjoyed seeing the informal learning connections examining  children's learning to science behind the exhibits. How are the research methods used to evaluate and improve activity design? 

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Cristine Legare
  • Icon for: Cristine Legare

    Cristine Legare

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 17, 2021 | 12:00 p.m.

    Thanks! In our current project we are introducing exhibit interventions like updated signage, new loose parts, and prompt cards into our galleries based on key research findings. These interventions are aimed at providing caregivers, including Thinkery staff, tools to further parent child engagement at specific exhibits. On the flip side, practice and understanding local community needs has opened up new areas of study for our partnerships, such as research on best practices in STEAM-based exhibit design for fostering STEM Habits of Mind and kindergarten readiness skills.

  • Icon for: Tsivia Cohen

    Tsivia Cohen

    Informal Educator
    May 14, 2021 | 04:29 p.m.

    Great to hear how you are building research collaborations at Thinkery and how you've designed your environment to support this goal. Your focus on research that can support your museum practice is very similar to ours at Chicago Children's Museum. We have equipped our Tinkering Lab with video cameras and we also collect data in nearby Story Hub--an exhibit that invites families to reflect on their experiences in the museum.  This was where we started our TALES project looking at Story-Based Tinkering and its impact on STEM learning.  Also where we will continue to test and refine what we've learned working with families at home this last year. I'd love to visit Thinkery at some point (now it's much more possible!) and invite you to visit us in Chicago.

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Cristine Legare
  • Icon for: Cristine Legare

    Cristine Legare

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 17, 2021 | 12:02 p.m.

    We would love to visit, and will be sure to invite you to Thinkery. Looking forward to continuing the conversation, and building on your insights! Do you have materials on the Story-Hub and TALES project you could share?

  • Icon for: Shannon Schmoll

    Shannon Schmoll

    Researcher
    May 17, 2021 | 11:46 a.m.

    This is great and wonderful that you can have a dedicated space for such work. How do disseminate results and best practices to other museums aside from research papers? You mentioned in earlier comments things like cards and signage have helped. Do you have templates, for instance, that others could use for their spaces?

  • Icon for: Cristine Legare

    Cristine Legare

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 17, 2021 | 12:04 p.m.

    Terrific question, and something we are working on. We are in the process of developing materials and resources which we will post on the Thinkery Connect website. They will be freely available to caregivers, teachers, researchers, and informal learning practitioners. Other suggestions for dissemination would be most welcome!

  • May 18, 2021 | 02:07 a.m.

    Hi Cristine and colleagues!  Important work!  I'm curious how you are connecting your research on cultural aspects of learning with informal learning in the museum setting.

    Come have a look at our video, 'next door,' on "Learning with Purpose as a Strength for Learning".  I think that the principles of learning with purpose can jibe well with museum and other informal settings!  I'd be interested in your thoughts on that idea.

  • May 18, 2021 | 06:42 p.m.

    This project provides a model future. It is a great example of how university researchers in partnership with museums, parents, and the community can all collaborate to increase joyful learning in our kids. The creative approach you've developed is likely to be applicable in many museums. Congrats and thanks for posting all this helpful info!

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.

Multiplex Discussion
  • Members may log in to post to this discussion.