This research project examined the effects of a training program that focused on helping youth volunteers create a learner-centered interaction at an Aquarium. This study explored whether this learner centered training resulted in an increased ability to identify learner-centered engagement as well as reported changes in practice.
Most research on training programs and professional development, that introduces learner-centered strategies examines adult teachers working in formal environments. This study examined youth volunteer staff in an informal science institution that participated in a weekly one-hour training for four weeks during their eight week long summer volunteer program.
The data showed that some of topics introduced in the learner centered training, such as the importance of visitors' prior knowledge and the use of objects, were identified more often as good practice after the training. In addition, participants seemed to hold on to some of their original perceptions of good practices, such as providing positive reinforcement and modifying their physical posture to make the visitors feel comfortable. The investigation also revealed that conversation patterns changed in some participants' practice as a result of the training.
|Commitee:||Gomez Zwiep, Susan, James, Katherine|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 54/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Informal science education, Professional development|
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