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What Asian Caregivers Observe About Their Children’s Learning During a Visit to the Children’s Museum

Research Thesis by Shiyu Sun

Prior research has examined caregivers’ observations of their children’s learning in a children’s museum. However, considering the cultural variations in beliefs about play and learning, little is known about what Asian caregivers observe about their children’s learning during a visit to the children’s museum. The purpose of this study was to explore whether or not Asian caregivers learn something about their child(ren)’s learning during a visit to the children’s museum, what they learn, and what it is about the children’s museum that caregivers feel contributes to that learning. This study replicated an earlier study of the research done by Children’s Museums Research Network. The researcher interviewed 35 Asian caregivers at the KidsQuest Children’s Museum in Bellevue, Washington. Results showed that more than half of the study participants observed something about how their child(ren) learned. Study participants most frequently referenced their children’s learning process, their child(ren)’s interests, peers’ impact on that learning, and cognitive skills in the description of what they observed. Asian caregivers attributed a range of aspects of the museum experience to that learning, including the opportunity to watch child(ren) play and, to watch them interact with other children, floor staff who engaged with child(ren) in conversation, and activities/ exhibits, materials available at the museum designed for young children and their family to do together. These findings have implications for family research in the children’s museum and for children’s museums making effort to increase diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion.


Sun, S. (2020). What asian caregivers observe about their Children’s learning during a visit to the Children’s museum (Order No. 28001577). Available from Dissertations & Theses @ University of Washington WCLP; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (2437107606). Retrieved from

Key words

Asian; Children’s museums; Learning; Parents; Play