Professor, Northeastern Illinois University
Department of Psychology
Personal Page: http://www.neiu.edu/~sgaskins
Suzanne Gaskins’ research goal is to understand the relationship of enculturation and development in children, especially how they interact in everyday activities. Integrating qualitative and quantitative methods, her research has been focused on children’s play and work as culturally structured activities, the developmental trajectory of linguistic relativity, and infant socialization and development. Much of her research is done in a small Mayan village in Yucatan, Mexico, and in many of her writings, she has analyzed the Yucatec Maya as a case study of the complex ways that cultural systems organize the lives of children and their caregivers. She is also interested in intentional informal learning environments, conducting research on how children and their families use children’s museums, and how museums can best integrate knowledge about cultural differences in family interaction patterns and parental ethnotheories about learning to design exhibits that better respond to the needs of all of their visitors.