Learn Directly What Families Know and Do

Home Observations

Parent Leaders opened their homes so researchers could observe children at home and learn about the natural STE opportunities and resources that were part of children’s daily lives

Consulting Parent Leaders on Home Visiting and Neighborhood Walks

Parent Leaders and researchers worked together to create guidelines for student researchers to conduct home observations. Parent Leaders helped to prepare student researchers to enter homes respectfully and to actively look for STE learning opportunities embedded in children’s home activities and environments.

Home Visit Observation Guide for Research Assistants

Goal of home observations: To get a sense of the physical spaces and objects in children’s home environments, specifically to note natural opportunities for STE learning.

During your visit, take note of the following:

  • Physical environment- How are spaces organized? Prominent (important) places for child or family? Main objects? Accessibility to child?
  • Social setting: Who is present? Where do adult-child interactions occur? Around what?
  • Presence of STE: What in the environment (physical and social) appears to be a rich source of STE learning? Activities/ Routines/ Objects/ People?

With parent permission, this could be where you introduce using the camera with the child to capture important places, objects, people, routines, activities.

Documentation during Home Visits

Religious Artifacts at Home

Religious pictures and artifacts (crucifix, rosary beads) are observed frequently in the homes of families in Program A.

Religious Artifacts at Home

Religious artifacts such as incense are seen in the homes of families in Program B.

Student researchers completed Participant Observation reports immediately after each home observation. Altars with photographs of ancestors were frequently observed in the homes of Chinese immigrant families in Program B. See the following excerpts from Participant Observation Records.

As one entered the apartment, s/he could see the living room with couches, a dining table, an altar for ancestors, and an open closet with buckets of toys, balls, and small stools.
– From PO on Family #3

The kitchen was as large as the living room, with a dining table and also an altar with a photo of an ancestor.
– From PO on Family #6