Chapter 3

Chapter 3 - Chapter 3. The Science of Astronomy Most...

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Part I 17 Chapter 3. The Science of Astronomy Most students do not really understand how science works, and our aim in this chapter is to edify them in an interesting and multicultural way. If you are used to teaching from other textbooks, you may be surprised that we have chosen to wait until Chapter 3 to introduce this material. However, we have found that students are better able to appreciate the scientific method and the development of science after they first have some idea of what science has accomplished. Thus, we find that covering the development of science at this point is more effective than introducing it earlier. As always, when you prepare to teach this chapter, be sure you are familiar with the relevant media resources (see the complete, section-by-section resource grid in Appendix 3 of this Instructor’s Guide) and the online quizzes and other study resources available on the MasteringAstronomy Web site. What’s New in the Fourth Edition That Will Affect My Lecture Notes? Those who have taught from previous editions of The Essential Cosmic Perspective should be aware of the following organizational or pedagogical changes to this chapter (i.e., changes that will influence the way you teach) in the fourth edition: We have substantially revised our discussion of archaeoastronomy in Section 3.1, and updated our examples with new research results in this field. Also note that we have learned that some of our examples from prior editions have either been discredited or are subject to more controversy than we had been aware of; for example, we now show the Wyoming Medicine Wheel as an example of apparent misinterpretation of data, although some archaeoastronomers still think the Medicine Wheel is a valid example. We have further revised our discussion in Section 3.4 of the nature of science to make the distinction between science and nonscience even clearer to students. In particular, note the new subsection on “Verifiable Observations” on page 71. Teaching Notes (by Section) Section 3.1 The Ancient Roots of Science This section introduces students to the development of astronomy by discussing how ancient observations were made and used by different cultures. We stress that these ancient observations helped lay the groundwork for modern science. The particular examples cited were chosen to give a multicultural perspective on ancient astronomy; instructors may wish to add their own favorite examples of ancient observations. In teaching from this section, you can take one of two basic approaches, depending on how much time you have available: (1) If you have little time to discuss the section in class, you can focus on the examples generally without delving into the observational details; or (2) if you have more
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18 Chapter-by-Chapter Guide time available, you can emphasize the details of how observations allowed determination of the time and date, and of how lunar cycles are used to make lunar calendars. Section 3.2
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This note was uploaded on 06/04/2010 for the course ASTR 110G taught by Professor Unknown during the Fall '09 term at NMSU.

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Chapter 3 - Chapter 3. The Science of Astronomy Most...

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