The Sky as a Topic in Science Education

Galili, Igal and Weizman, Ayelet and Cohen, Ariel (2004) The Sky as a Topic in Science Education. Science Education, 88 (4). ISSN 1098-237X

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The concepts of sky and visibility distance, as perceived by different learners, are investigated for the first time as a subject of a science education research. Mental models of students with regard to the subject were elicited. They were interpreted in terms of two-level hierarchy: schemes and facets-of-knowledge (defined in the paper). Our results suggest that many students do not consider sky to be a scientific (physical) concept. The majority perceives the sky as having an oblate profile. Among the parameters that determine this profile were mentioned daytime, atmosphere, geometry of the situation, and weather conditions. The students hold two major explanatory views (schemes) with regard to the sky: “the sky is the atmosphere” and “the sky is the appearance of space.” With regard to the visibility distance, the two following schemes prevail: “vision weakens with the distance” and “natural obstacles determine vision distance.” No significant correlation was found between the views regarding the sky appearance and the vision distance. Students do not relate Moon illusion to the profile of sky or visibility distance. The notions of sky and visibility distance are argued for inclusion into science curriculum, and implications of the findings to a constructivist instruction of the considered concepts and phenomena are discussed. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Sci Ed88:574–593, 2004

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Astronomy Education Research
Depositing User: Mr Saeed Salimpour
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2018 12:20
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2018 05:17

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