Science Learning

Science Learning in Children

Children are already acquiring scientific knowledge before they have entered formal schooling. My research in science focuses on ways to promote children’s science learning early in childhood. Specifically, I focus on science books. I ask questions such as what types of science books best support children’s learning and how children learn science information in the context of shared book reading (reading books with a caregiver). In this research, I conduct corpus analyses to examine the extent to which young children’s books include textual features that support learning and conduct behavioral studies to examine the role of books’ textual features and caregivers’ talk during book reading for supporting early learning.

Science Learning among College Students

What is the role of the learning environment and individual differences in college students’ science learning? Here I have ongoing projects investigating college students’ learning of neuroscience from lectures and text. We investigate learning factors, such as the presence of diagrams in notes, whether notes are typed or handwritten, and the extent to which book text is cohesive. We also examine the interrelation of individual difference factors in spatial cognition and verbal reasoning.


Wilson, J.T., Miller-Goldwater, H.E., Porter, B.M., & Bauer, P.J. (2023). Learning neuroscience: Investigating influences of notetaking materials and individual differences, Learning and Individual Differences. [Link]

Miller-Goldwater, H.E., Cronin-Golomb, L.M., Hanft, M.H., & Bauer, P.J. (2022). The influence of books’ textual features and caregivers’ extratextual talk on children’s science learning in the context of shared book reading, Developmental Psychology. doi:10.1037/dev0001480 [Link]