Review_Astronomy_Ed_Research - Volume 2, Sep 2003 - Jan...

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Volume 2, Sep 2003 - Jan 2004 Issue 2 A Review of Astronomy Education Research by Janelle M. Bailey University of Arizona Timothy F. Slater University of Arizona Posted: 10/20/03 The Astronomy Education Review, Issue 2, Volume 2:20-45, 2004 © 2003, Janelle M. Bailey. Copyright assigned to the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. Abstract The field of astronomy education is rapidly growing beyond merely sharing effective activities or curriculum ideas. This paper categorizes and summarizes the literature in astronomy education research and contains more than 100 references to articles, books, and Web-based materials. Research into student understanding on a variety of topics now occupies a large part of the literature. Topics include the shape of Earth and gravity, lunar phases, seasons, astrobiology, and cosmology. The effectiveness of instructional methods is now being tested systematically, taking data beyond the anecdotal with powerful research designs and statistical analyses. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed- methods approaches have found their places in the researcher’s toolbox. In all cases, the connection between the research performed and its effect on classroom instruction is largely lacking. Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences known. Whether it is the basis of planning for an elaborate religious ceremony or working on the cutting-edge of science and technology, astronomy remains at the forefront of the public’s attention and interest. Astronomy in educational contexts—its presence in the classroom, museum, or observatory at any level—has fluctuated with popular opinion of the time. At one time, astronomy was a required course for anyone seeking a college degree; today, most college students see it as only one of many electives at select universities. But in spite of astronomy’s long presence in the public eye, research in astronomy education is a very new field. What little systematic research has been conducted on the teaching and learning of astronomy is scattered among many journals over the years. Prior to 2002, there were no journals dedicated to this emerging field; the online journal the Astronomy Education Review began publication in late 2001.
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As the field of astronomy education research (hereafter AER) grows—and it is doing so vigorously—many readers may find it useful to have a concise summary of what has been published to date. The purpose of this article is to summarize and categorize the various research projects in astronomy education to set the stage for subsequent efforts. In order to limit the extent of this diverse field, we have made purposeful choices about the references included here. In this paper, research is defined as those studies that attempt to systematically analyze issues such as student conceptions on a topic or the effectiveness of a particular instructional or curricular intervention. Outside of this definition and the scope of this paper lies a multitude of additional works, including descriptions of innovative activities,
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2011 for the course PHYS 6198 taught by Professor Cohor during the Summer '10 term at LSU.

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Review_Astronomy_Ed_Research - Volume 2, Sep 2003 - Jan...

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