Document Type



A Chaldean Catholic immigrant mother from Iraq kept a journal about how her Arab American daughters (ages 9 and 15) visited museums for the first time and participated in museum-related activities that focused on them (1) understanding and developing empathy for all new immigrants coming to the U.S.; (2) understanding and developing appreciation of Arab American im- migrants’ culture; and (3) being exposed to limited Arabic vocabulary related to museum artifacts. The mother’s anecdotal observations, informal conver- sational interviews, and photographs documented her daughters’ learning processes and outcomes. The cognitive processes and outcomes (e.g., under- standing, meaning making through personal memories, information-seeking skills, co-construction of knowledge, creative self-expression, new vocabulary) and affective processes and outcomes (e.g., empathy, appreciation, parent– child–sibling socioemotional collaboration) are discussed within a Vygotskian sociocultural framework. The mother scaffolded the girls to reach their up- per Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) using multiple Vygotskian cultural and physical tools (e.g., museum artifacts, visual and culinary arts materials, children’s books, technology). Lastly in this report from the field, the lessons learned are discussed, including conclusions and recommendations for parents and teachers on museum education.


Community-Based Learning | Education | Sociology of Culture | Teacher Education and Professional Development