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What do teachers of astronomy need to think about?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics. Kristianstad University. (Physics Education research, Fysikens didaktik)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6638-1246
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics. (Physics Education Research, Fysikens didaktik)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6409-5182
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics. (Physics Education research, Fysikens didaktik)
Kristianstad University. (LISMA)
2013 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Learning astronomy has exciting prospects for many students; learning about the stars in the

sky, the planets, galaxies, etc., is often very inspiring and sets the mind on the really big

aspects of astronomy as a science; the Universe. At the same time, learning astronomy can be

a challenging endeavor for many students. One of the most difficult things to come to

understand is how big the Universe is. Despite seeming trivial, size and distances, together

with the three-dimensional (3D) structure of the Universe, probably present some of the

biggest challenges in the teaching and learning of astronomy

(Eriksson, Linder, Airey, &

Redfors, in preparation; Lelliott & Rollnick, 2010). This is the starting point for every

astronomy educator. From here, an educationally critical question to ask is: how can we best

approach the teaching of astronomy to optimize the potential for our students attaining a

holistic understanding about the nature of the Universe?

Resent research indicates that to develop students’ understanding about the structure of the

Universe, computer generated 3D simulations can be used to provide the students with an

experience that other representations cannot easily provide (Eriksson et al., in preparation;

Joseph, 2011). These simulations offer disciplinary affordance* through the generation of

motion parallax for the viewer. Using this background we will present the results of a recent

investigation that we completed looking at what students’ discern (notice with meaning)

about the multidimensionality of the Universe. Implications for astronomy education will be

discussed and exemplified.

*[T]he inherent potential of [a] representation to provide access to disciplinary knowledge

(Fredlund, Airey, & Linder, 2012, p. 658)

Eriksson, U., Linder, C., Airey, J., & Redfors, A. (in preparation). Who needs 3D when the

Universe is flat?

Fredlund, T., Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2012). Exploring the role of physics representations: an

illustrative example from students sharing knowledge about refraction. European

Journal of Physics, 33(3), 657.

Joseph, N. M. (2011). Stereoscopic Visualization as a Tool For Learning Astronomy

Concepts. (Master of Science), Purdue University, Purdue University Press Journals.

Lelliott, A., & Rollnick, M. (2010). Big Ideas: A review of astronomy education research

1974--2008. International Journal of Science Education, 32(13), 1771–1799

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund, Sweden, 2013.
National Category
Didactics Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Physics Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-234625OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-234625DiVA: diva2:757325
Conference
Nordic Physics Days
Available from: 2014-10-21 Created: 2014-10-21 Last updated: 2016-04-15

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Eriksson, UrbanLinder, Cedric

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