Our lab is exploring ways to promote children's curiosity during classroom learning, as well as how to promote learning in informal settings, such as through play and with digital apps. We employ a range of research methodologies, including using existing data to code for instructional strategies and student behaviors, observations of children during playgroups and in other settings, and experimentally testing manipulations of a task. Our overarching goal is to understand ways that children's experiences can be designed to promote robust learning.
Student tasks will range depending on the project they work on, the time of year and what stage a project is in, and the student's prior experience and interests. Research tasks include facilitating playgroups or learning activities, collecting data with participants in a lab setting or at a local children's museum, coding videos of data that have been collected already, as well as learning to find and read relevant articles.
Students will get the most from this experience if they are interested in children and child development. Research assistants do best when they have a high threshold for uncertainty and feel comfortable asking questions when something is unclear or they can't figure something out, but also when they take initiative to try and solve problems in different ways. Being able to communicate well with others, including children and families, is a strength.
1. Learn how to work with a research team. 2. See the value in children's playful learning experiences. 3. Understand the general processes involved in child development research.