June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
23.1334.1 - 23.1334.7
Using Puppets to Elicit Talk During Interviews on Engineering with Young Children (Method)Interviewing can be tricky at best, but with a younger audience (< 5 years) there are someadditional barriers that inhibit the interview process such as shyness, short attention span,lack of vocabulary, and level of parental guidance (Clark, 1999). When in an interview, achild may try to ‘second guess’ what the researcher wants them to say, especially if theybelieve that the interviewer may already know the answer (Gallop, 2000). Additionallyyoung children tend to give monosyllabic answers to open ended questions (Tizard &Hughes, 1984), and might require more prompting than adults.One aide that has been recently investigated is the use of puppets to elicit children’s talkfor research (Epstein et al., 2008). Puppets have been shown to: • Decrease children’s fears of the interview process • Lower anxiety levels • Help assess children’s knowledge • Help children to adjust to environment • Provide effective communication and teaching toolsMost research focuses on puppets within clinical contexts, but recently the use has beenextended towards other applications such as qualitative interviews (Epstein et al., 2008),mathematical lessons (Cauley, 1988), promoting science engagement (Naylor et al,2007), and teaching phonics (Johnston & Watson, ???). However, there has not been anydocumented use of this research approach within engineering education.There are three common interview techniques involving puppets in practice: the AlienPuppet Interview (API) (Krott and Nicoladis, 2005), the Puppet Interview (PI) (Cassidy,1988; Verschueren, Buyuk and Marcoen, 2001) and the Berkeley Puppet Interview (BPI)(Measelle et al., 1998; Ablow et al., 1999). Each technique has a different strategydepending on how the child interacts with the puppet.As part of a larger project, children ages 3-5 were interviewed about an engineering taskthat they had just completed with their parents during a museum event. The interviewwas a hybrid mix of the Alien Puppet Interview and the Puppet Interview, depending onthe way in which the child interviewee chose to interact with the puppet. Thirtyinterviews were analyzed for children’s interaction, quality of answers, and behaviortoward the puppet.In the paper, we will provide more details about the specific interview approach used forour study (as well as insights into how children responded to this interview approach) inaddition to a larger discussion of the three interview techniques in order to provide aresearch methodology resource for other pre-college engineering education researchers touse.
Dorie, B. L., & Tranby, Z., & Van Cleave, S. K., & Cardella, M. E., & Svarovsky, G. N. (2013, June), Using Puppets to Elicit Talk During Interviews on Engineering with Young Children Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22719
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