TITLE

Parents' science talk to their children in Mexican-descent families residing in the USA

AUTHOR(S)
Tenenbaum, Harriet R.; Callanan, Maureen A.
PUB. DATE
January 2008
SOURCE
International Journal of Behavioral Development;Jan2008, Vol. 32 Issue 1, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Everyday parent-child conversations may support children's scientific understanding. The types and frequency of parent-child science talk may vary with the cultural and schooling background of the participants, and yet most research in the USA focuses on highly schooled European-American families. This study investigated 40 Mexican-descent parents' science talk with their children (mean age = 5 years 7 months, range = 2 years 10 months to 8 years 6 months). Parents were divided between a higher schooling group who had completed secondary school, and a basic schooling group who had fewer than 12 years of formal schooling. Parents and children were videotaped engaging with science exhibits at a children's museum and at home. Conversations were coded in terms of parents' explanatory talk. In both contexts, Mexican-descent parents engaged children in explanatory science talk. At the museum, parents in the higher schooling group used more causal explanations, scientific principles explanations, and encouraging predictions types of explanations than did parents in the basic schooling group. By contrast, the only difference at home was that parents in the higher schooling group used more encouraging predictions talk than parents in the basic schooling group. Parents who had been to museums used more explanations than parents who had never visited a museum. The results suggest that while explanatory speech differed somewhat in two groups of Mexican-descent parents varying in formal schooling, all of these children from Mexican-descent families experienced some conversations that were relevant for their developing science literacy.
ACCESSION #
28797509

 

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