Families’ Capacity to Engage in Science Inquiry at Home Through Structured Activities

Abstract

The role that caregivers can play in their child’s science education is often overlooked within science education research. Few studies have focused on the capacity and abilities of caregivers to guide science activities. The purpose of this study was to describe how families utilize science activity packs at home. Data indicate that the adults encouraged their children to observe, predict, compare and contrast, draw conclusions, and articulate explanations (inquiry behaviors). Families were also observed utilizing provided questions and talk moves (techniques to encourage conversation). The activity also set the stage for families to capitalize on the directions to add their own questions and talk moves. This detailed account of how families used the science activity packs provided valuable information about questions asked, inquiry behaviors and the nature of the discourse and interactions between family members.

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Acknowledgements

I would like to extend a thank you to Dr. Rebecca Schneider and Dr. Lynn Dierking for their support. Funding was provided by the National Science Foundation (Grant # 1102808).

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Correspondence to Lacey Strickler-Eppard.

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Strickler-Eppard, L., Czerniak, C.M. & Kaderavek, J. Families’ Capacity to Engage in Science Inquiry at Home Through Structured Activities. Early Childhood Educ J 47, 653–664 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-019-00958-0

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Keywords

  • Science discourse
  • Family science activities
  • Young children
  • Science education