Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

Museum Learning - Participants Needed

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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
Posts: 69136
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Posted Apr 13, 2002 at 1:15:43 PM
Subject: Museum Learning - Participants Needed

Hello All,

My name is Christopher Sperl and I am a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). I am currently working on my dissertation and would appreciate your assistance in this process.

First, let me tell you a little about myself. After working as an elementary special educator in New York for several years, I arrived at UMCP to complete my Master's Degree in Special Education with a concentration in Learning Disabilities. In 1994, I received my degree and at that time I decided to continue along my academic path. I am currently a doctoral student in Educational Psychology and a special educator in Montgomery County, Maryland. My research focus for the past several years has been museums as learning environments for children. I have been working and volunteering for the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC for the past 5 and a half years. My interest in museum learning is second only to helping children with learning disabilities learn. Thus, in deciding on a dissertation topic, I have chosen to marry the two and examine families with children with learning disabilities within this informal learning environment.

Currently, there is no research that has been conducted to examine the effects of family visits to museums for children with learning disabilities. I would like to gain better understanding of how to maximize the benefits of museums for children with learning disabilities, and better adapt learning centers to the needs of these children. This research will be of great importance for families with children with LD, museum practitioners, and the research community. I believe that this type of research might impact educational programs created by museums and in turn provide educational opportunities that have not been available up to this point for children with learning disabilities.

If you would be interested in participating in this study, I am trying to locate families with children (ages 8-11) with learning disabilities that live in the Washington, DC Metro Area. Participation is FUN and EASY! Involvement will require one short visit to the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC on an individually scheduled date and a follow-up phone interview. As a thank you, participating families will receive a free museum book and special privileges in the Discovery Room. I am also very familiar with the Smithsonian Institution and can direct you to several great places to visit while you are in the area.

I would appreciate greatly any assistance you might be able to provide. If you are a parent with a child (age 8-11) with a learning disability and you and your child are willing to participate in this study (or if you would like to know more about this endeavor), please contact me. You can reach me by phone at 202.588.7430 or by e-mail at christopher.squared@verizon.net.

Thanks for your consideration of this endeavor. Again, I truly believe that this research will benefit children with learning disabilities and I hope that you and your child will be a part of this!

Christopher Sperl

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Joined Jun 23, 2018
Posts: 69136

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Posted:Apr 15, 2002 1:07:48 PM

Congratulations on selecting such an interesting and potentially beneficial topic. My son is older than your age group and we live too far away, but I applaud your efforts. Museums, libraries etc. are all a challenge for families with LD children. Right off, I'll tell you how beneficial audio tours of exhibits can be. We recently visited an aquarium where each person had a kind of wand with input buttons to hear about each exhibit. We all got so much more out of the exhibits rather than trying to read a little card at each spot. Good luck and let us kmow your findings.

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