Encyclopedia of Science Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Richard Gunstone

Family Learning

  • Lynn D. Dierking
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6165-0_424-2

Defining family learning It is challenging enough to independently define the words “family” and “learning”; understanding the meaning of the two words together only complicates matters. Despite this challenge, the notion of a family learning together makes great sense given that humans learn through group interaction, conversations, gestures, emotions, and watching one another. The very first learning group a person belongs to is her family, and this group is so important that anthropologists, sociologists, and social psychologists refer to the family as an educational institution, without the bricks and mortar.

Family members engage in family learning over their lifetime through the processes of social interaction, collaboration, and sharing among members. Knowledge and understanding is constructed by the family and incorporated into a family narrative, a set of shared experiences and meanings. Interaction, collaboration, and sharing can be direct (a family participating together in...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Science and Mathematics Education, Colleges of Science and EducationOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA