Suzanne Gaskins
Professor Emeritus
College of Arts and Sciences
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Courses Taught
General Psychology
Developmental Psychology
Child Psychology
Culture and Development
Play and Development
Research Interests
Since 2005, as part of the Chicago Children’s Museum’s NSF grant entitled Partnership of Playful Learners, I have conducted research on family learning in museums, focusing on how family interactions are influenced by exhibit design (signage, models, challenges, seating, etc.), how types of interactions influence children’s learning of new information, and how family use of the museum varies by cultural or ethnic differences in families’ styles of interaction and their beliefs about play and learning in the family. Current work is focused on cultural differences in family learning among European-American, Latino, and African-American visitors. Data analysis is of 1) video taped interactions of families in order to describe how they share information and problem solving; and 2) live observations of visitors’ entire visits using pre-coded categories to capture their experiences at each component. (Click here learn more about the museum.) Yucatec Maya Children: As part of my ongoing research on children’s enculturation and socialization and the cultural influences on children’s development, current work in my field site in Yucatan, Mexico is focused on piloting of measures on two topics 1) open attention, as practiced by young children 2) the range of fantasy in children’s play and the cultural interpretation of children’s pretense. Family Learning in Museums For Additional Information, please access the following website:

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