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Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits
of Education. He has an A.B. in sociology from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in human development from the University of Chicago.
Maureen Callanan is professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on cognitive and language development in young children, exploring how they come to understand the world through everyday conversations with their parents. One particular focus is on how children’s intuitive theories about the world (e.g., how heat makes things melt, what makes people sad) develop in parent-child conversations. Children’s “why” questions and parents’ explanations are studied through parents’ diary reports of children’s questions and through videotapes of parent-child activities, such as reading books, baking muffins, and visiting children’s museums. The research explores how children and parents construct shared understandings of concepts and of causal theories about particular domains, with special attention to scientific domains. Callanan has also focused on how children learn word meanings and understand multiple names for the same objects. Her studies on examining how parents and children name objects in everyday conversations have demonstrated important links between parents’ language and children’s interpretations of new words. She has an A.B. from Mount Holyoke College and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.
Angela C. Cristini is executive director of special programs at the Ramapo College of New Jersey. She also directs the Meadowlands Environment Center, in which over 20,000 children, educators, families, adults, and senior citizens per year participate in informal science programming. She designed and directs the Master of Science in Educational Technology Program, which is directed at the needs and concerns of the professional education community. Previously she was president of the American Littoral Society, a national, not-for-profit, membership organization, dedicated to the environmental well-being of coastal habitats. She was assistant director of environmental research in the Division of Science and Research of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, where she was responsible for setting the research agenda for state environmental issues. She was a recipient of competitive grant funding from the National Science Foundation and the New Jersey State Department of Education for informal science, teacher enhancement, and curriculum development projects in science and technology. Her research interests include comparative physiology and the ecology of invertebrates, the effects of pollutants on marine organisms, and the endocrinology and mechanisms of ionic regulation of crustaceans. She has a B.A. from Northeastern University and a Ph.D. from the City University of New York.
Kirsten Ellenbogen is the director of evaluation and research in learning at the Science Museum of Minnesota. Her research focuses on fostering science