This qualitative study is an exploratory look at family experiences at night time telescope observing events, often called star parties. Four families participated in this study which looked at their expectations, experiences and agendas as well as the roles that identity and family culture played in the negotiation of meaning. Two families who had prior experience with attending star parties were recruited ahead of time and two other families who were first time visitors were recruited on-site at the observing event. Data were collected at two star parties. At each event, one experienced family was paired with an on-site family for the purposes of facilitating conversations about expectations and prior experiences.
The results of this study showed that learning is constantly occurring among families, and that star parties and family culture were mediational means for making meaning. Expectations and agendas were found to affect the families' star party experiences and differences were observed between the expectations and experiences of families based on their prior experiences with star parties. These data also showed that family members are actively negotiating their individual and family identities. These families use their cultural history together to make sense of their star party experiences; however, the meaning that families were negotiating was often focused more on developing family and individual identity rather than science content. The families in this study used the star party context as a way to connect with each other, to make sense of their prior experiences, and as raw material for making sense of future experiences.
|Advisor:||Carter, Kathy, Harris, Christopher|
|Commitee:||Iddings, Chris, Johnson, Bruce|
|School:||The University of Arizona|
|Department:||Teaching & Teacher Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/04, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Astronomy observing, Families, Family, Family learning, Free-choice, Informal, Star party, Telescopes|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be