Families are an early and important context for children's learning. Families create spontaneous moments of learning in everyday settings that may not be designed to support it (e.g., homes, playgrounds, parks). Families also encountered deisgned experiences in museums, libraries, community settings, on-line, etc. How do children learn in family settings? How do we support parents as co-explorers, coaches, or guides? How do we encourage interest, identification, and engagement with science, art, or the humanities?


Knutson, K, Lyon, M., Crowley, K., & Giarratani, L. (in press). Flexible interventions to increase family engagement at Natural History museum dioramas. Curator: The Museum Journal.

Tison Povis, K. & Crowley, K. (2015). Family learning in object-based museums: The role of joint attention.Visitor Studies, 18 (2), 168-182.         

Brahms, L. & Crowley, K. (2016). Learning to Make in the Museum: The Role of Maker Educators. In K. Peppler, E. Rosenfeld Halverson, & Y. B. Kafai (Eds). Makeology: Makerspaces as learning environments. New York: Routledge.

Kim, K.Y. & Crowley, K. (2010). Negotiating the goal of museum inquiry: How families engineer and experiment. M.K. Stein & L. Kucan (Eds). Instructional Explanations in the Disciplines. New York: Springer.

Knutson, K. & Crowley, K. (2010). Connecting with Art: How families talk about art in a museum setting. M.K. Stein & L. Kucan (Eds). Instructional Explanations in the Disciplines. New York: Springer.

Sanford, C., Knutson, K., & Crowley, K. (2007). We Always Spend Time Together on Sundays: Grandparents and Informal Learning. Visitor Studies, 10(2), 136-151.

Palmquist, S.D. & Crowley, K. (2007). From teachers to testers: How Parents Talk to Novice and Expert Children in a Natural History Museum. Science Education, 91(5), 712-732.

Fender, J. G. & Crowley, K. (2007). How parent explanation changes what children learn from everyday scientific thinking. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 28, 189-210.

Leinhardt, G. & Knutson, K. (2006). Grandparents speak: Museum conversations across the generations. Curator, 49 (2), 235-252.

Swartz, M. I. & Crowley, K, (2004). Parent beliefs about teaching in a children's museum. Visitor Studies, 7(2), 1-16.

Crowley, K., Callanan, M.A., Tenenbaum, H.R., & Allen, E. (2001). Parents explain more often to boys than to girls during shared scientific thinking. Psychological Science, 12 (3), 258-261.

Crowley, K., Callanan, M.A., Jipson, J., Galco, J., Topping, K., & Shrager, J. (2001). Shared scientific thinking in everyday parent-child activity. Science Education, 85 (6), 712-732.

Crowley, K. (2000). Parent explanations during museum visits: Gender differences in how children hear informal science. Visitor Studies, 3 (3), 21-28.

Crowley, K. & Callanan, M.A. (1998). Identifying and supporting shared scientific reasoning in parent-child interactions. Journal of Museum Education, 23, 12-17.

Funding provided by: National Science Foundation, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh,and the Getty Museum.