Astronomy education and scientific schools in Ukraine

Yatskiv, Yaroslav S. and Vavilova, Iryna B. (2011) Astronomy education and scientific schools in Ukraine. In: The Role of Astronomy in Society and Culture. Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 260, 2009. International Astronomical Union, pp. 696-703.


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We describe briefly the current state of astronomical education in Ukraine, namely the secondary, higher, and post-graduating education systems. A special attention is paid to so called “scientific schools”, non-formal groups of scientists formed by recognised astronomers, which have played and continue to play an important role in development of the astronomy education system. Among the founders of scientific schools were the well-known professors Alexander Ya. Orlov (Odessa University), Nikolai P. Barabashov (Kharkiv University), Sergei K. Vsekhsvyatsky (Kyiv University), Semen Ya. Braude (Kharkiv Polytechnical Institute), and Vladimir P. Tsesevich (Odessa University). We also give a general review on the history of astronomy education during the 16th-18th centuries. In 2000 astronomy was reinstated into the current 12-year secondary education curriculum of Ukraine. At present, some elements of astronomical knowledge are included in the lessons of “Natural Sciences” for pupils in the 5th – 10th grades. Astronomy is included as a basic course both in general (non-specialised) schools (17 academic hours in the last 11th or 12th grade) and in lyceums of the natural sciences (34 academic hours in the 12th grade). It is included also as an optional course in the educational program of gymnasiums in humanities. Every year about 75 young persons enter the Ukrainian universities to become astronomers. Results of our monitoring of the efficiency of astronomical higher educational system indicate that about 80% of the entered university students finish their education in 5 years; 50% of those who finished the cursus were working in astronomy. Since 1992 more than 100 astronomers defend Theses of Cand. Sci. (similar to Ph.D) and about 40 astronomers defend Theses of Dr. Sci. (topmost scientific degree, similar to Dr. Hab.). One of our present day problems is a brain drain of young scientists. About 50% of those who obtained Cand. Sci. degree work outside Ukraine. At the same time in Ukraine we have a lack of experienced persons to work in astronomical instrumentation and observations.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Astronomy Education Research
Depositing User: Dr Michael Fitzgerald
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2017 07:40
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2018 09:26

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