ERIC Number: ED409171
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Talking about Animals: Studies of Young Children Visiting Zoos, a Museum and a Farm.
Tunnicliffe, Susan Dale
The purpose of this study was to identify the content and form of the conversations and recognize the variables that are acting during visits to animal exhibits, and the influence on conversational content of both different types of locations and animal exhibits and visit rationales. Conversations of children between the ages of 3 and 12 years and their accompanying adults were recorded at animal exhibits during visits, which were organized either by the school or by their families, to a variety of zoos and museums in the United States and United Kingdom. Findings indicate that despite the differences in setting, there was a surprising uniformity in the responses in the different institutions and between U.S. and U.K. visitors to zoos. There were some statistically significant differences between some categories of the conversations at the three types of animal exhibits, between these and those at farm animals, between school and family groups, between the different sub groups with the school parties, and between pupils of different age groups. It is concluded that there is little evidence that schools are developing children's understanding of zoology during such visits or that the visitors are using the interpretation provided by the museum or zoo. Contains 26 references. (Author/JRH)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Ph.D. Dissertation, King's College, University of London.