The Children's Engagement Behaviour Framework: describing young children's interaction with science exhibits and its relationship to learning

Léonie Rennie, Christine Howitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Children’s Engagement Behaviour Framework was developed to
describe young children’s engagement with science exhibits and how
their behaviour is related to learning about the exhibits. The Framework
was synthesised from frameworks in research literature related to family
learning and the nature of play. It describes three categories of
epistemic behaviour and two categories of ludic play behaviour. Field testing
in a playgroup environment where young children engaged
with science exhibits revealed that its five categories effectively
captured the range of engagement behaviours children displayed. The
Framework was used to code video-recordings of 20 children in five
further playgroups, categorising 89 child-exhibit interactions lasting at
least 30 s. The inter-coder agreement was 93% and differences were
easily resolved. The highest level of epistemic behaviour was recorded
at each exhibit and 29 instances of ludic behaviour occurred. Children
were interviewed using stills from their video-recording to stimulate
discussion about exhibits. Epistemic behaviour was strongly related to
learning about how the exhibit worked but ludic behaviour had no
relationship with such learning. This research has demonstrated the
relationship between observable epistemic behaviour and learning and
provided a Framework for research into the engagement behaviour of
young children. Practical applications of the Framework are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-375
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2020

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