Conception et évaluation d’une intervention didactique à propos des phases de la Lune dans un planétarium numérique

Chastenay, Pierre (2013) Conception et évaluation d’une intervention didactique à propos des phases de la Lune dans un planétarium numérique. Doctoral thesis, Université de Montréal.

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Abstract

Since the Quebec Education Program came into effect in 2001, Quebec classrooms have again been teaching astronomy. Unfortunately, schools are ill-equipped to teach complex astronomical concepts, most of which occur outside school hours and over long periods of time. Furthermore, many astronomical phenomena involve celestial objects travelling through three-dimensional space, which we cannot access from our geocentric point of view. The lunar phases, a concept prescribed in secondary cycle one, fall into that category. Fortunately, schools can count on support from the planetarium, a science museum dedicated to presenting ultra-realistic simulations of astronomical phenomena in fast time and at any hour of the day. But what type of planetarium will support schools? Recently, planetariums also underwent their own revolution: they switched from analogue to digital, replacing geocentric opto-mechanical projectors with video projectors that offer the possibility of travelling virtually through a completely immersive simulation of the three-dimensional Universe. Although research into planetarium education has focused little on this new paradigm, certain of its conclusions, based on the study of analogue planetariums, can help us develop a rewarding teaching intervention in these new digital simulators. But other sources of inspiration will be cited, primarily the teaching of science, which views learning no longer as the transfer of knowledge, but rather as the construction of knowledge by the learners themselves, with and against their initial conceptions. The conception and use of constructivist learning environments, of which the digital planetarium is a fine example, and the use of simulations in astronomy will complete our theoretical framework and lead to the conception of a teaching intervention focusing on the lunar phases in a digital planetarium and targeting students aged 12 to 14. This teaching intervention was initially tested as part of development research (didactic engineering) aimed at improving it, both theoretically and practically, through multiple iterations in its “natural” environment, in this case an inflatable digital planetarium vi six metres in diameter. We are presenting the results of our first iteration, completed with help from six children aged 12 to 14 (four boys and two girls) whose conceptions about the lunar phases were noted before, during and after the intervention through group interviews, questionnaires, group exercises and recordings of the interventions throughout the activity. The evaluation was essentially qualitative, based on the traces obtained throughout the session, in particular within the planetarium itself. This material was then analyzed to validate the theoretical concepts that led to the conception of the teaching intervention and also to reveal possible ways to improve the intervention. We noted that the intervention indeed changed most participants’ conceptions about the lunar phases, but also identified ways to boost its effectiveness in the future.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Astronomy Education Research
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2017 01:54
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2018 09:11
URI: http://istardb.org/id/eprint/148

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