Situation: A non-profit institute located in Seattle with the mission of supporting 
parents and caregivers in raising socially and emotionally healthy children 
wanted help in answering the question “What does it mean to be a parent in 
2010?” In order to hear directly from parents in the context of their daily lives, 
What They Think Research was asked to conduct an ethnographic research 
study that would serve as fodder for developing future educational programs.

Solution: Seventy parents from around the country were recruited and asked to 
complete “video blogs.” Over the course of a week, participants were asked 
three to four broad questions on the four topics outlined, as well as 
background information about their families, creating hours of video insights. 
This research took the institute beyond the statistics of just knowing how 
many families have made changes due to current social and economic 
situations to actually reveal what changes families have made -- what they 
chose to sacrifice, the effect on parents’ careers, and how parents and 
children alike adjusted to changing situations.

Result: Using the research from this study, the institute developed a new, 
innovative 20-hour online training program. The course offers state-of-the-art 
online training focused on the social and emotional development of children 
from birth to age five. The training focuses on the four pillars of development, 
and is composed of 25 modules containing 40 scenarios, 60 videos, and 75 
learning activities illustrating concepts and key messages for all learner types.

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