Accessible Universe: Making Astronomy Accessible to All in the Regular Elementary Classroom
Astronomy is one of the most approachable of the sciences and enjoys tremendous popular interest, beginning at the elementary level and continuing on through college and in the popular media. Space-related topics are some of the most popular science topics in the elementary grades and can serve as a springboard to other sciences, mathematics, technology, and reading for the typical student. Not all students are typical: 10% of American students are identified as having disabilities affecting their education sufficiently that they receive special education services, with perhaps an additional 10% less severely affected. At the elementary level, these students usually receive their science education in comprehensive (mixed-ability) classrooms. Budgetary limitations for most school systems have meant that, for the bulk of these children, individualized accommodations and adaptations for science instruction are not readily available. We have piloted a suite of curriculum materials, modified activities, and instructional strategies, incorporating both Web-based astronomy resources and assistive technology to more effectively teach astronomy to children with disabilities in the elementary regular education classroom.
Grady, C. A., Farley, N., Zamboni, E., Avery, F., Clark, B., Geiger, N., & Woodgate, B. 2003, Astronomy Education Review, 2(2), p.1–19