Erin A. Jant
Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology
Ph.D., Loyola University Chicago
Postdoctoral Fellow: Northwestern University, Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center
Office: Old Johnson Hall, Room 232
Curriculum vitae (488 kb)
Member of Cognitive Development Society, Society for Research in Child Development, Psychonomic Society, American Educational Research Association
Children’s learning and memory, parent-child interactions, transfer of learning and informal education settings
My research interests include the cognitive and social foundations of young children’s learning and remembering. Recent work focuses on how parent-child interactions during hands on engagement with objects can facilitate what children learn and remember about those experiences. Currently we are exploring methods to increase engagement and children’s subsequent ability to apply what they have learned to new situations, or transfer that knowledge from one application to another. Much of this work takes place in educational settings such as museums. Presently, in my lab, we are working to explore the ways that parents and educators can encourage children’s understanding of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts in museums and classrooms. Specifically, we are examining how caregivers are scaffolding learning of relevant engineering principles for children before, during and after building activities in a museum. Further, we are assessing children’s independent hypothesis testing and problem-solving behaviors. Evaluating children’s ability to retain their understanding of the scientific method and broader STEM knowledge in the weeks that follow their museum visit is also a key objective. Ultimately, we aim to foster early understanding of STEM concepts and the scientific method, as well as, applying this work towards creating sustainable programming for museums and educators.
Haden, C. A., Marcus, M., & Jant, E. A. (in press). Socializing early skills for remembering through parent-child conversations during and after events. In M. Meade, A. Barnier, P. Van Bergen, C. Harris, and J. Sutton (Eds.) Collaborative Remembering: How Remembering with Others Influences Memory. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Jant, E. A., Haden, C. A., Uttal, D. H., & Babcock, E. (2014). Conversation and object manipulation influence children’s learning in a museum. Child Development, 85(5), 1771-2105 doi: 10.1111/cdev.12252
Haden, C. A., Jant, E. A., Hoffman, P. C., Marcus, M., Geddes, J. R., & Gaskins, S. (2014) Supporting family conversations and children’s STEM learning in a children’s museum. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 29(3), 333-344. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2014.04.004
Benjamin, N., Haden, C. A., & Wilkerson, E. (2010). Enhancing building, conversation, and learning through caregiver-child interactions in a children’s museum. Developmental Psychology, 46(2), 502-515. doi: 10.1037/a0017822