Addressing children's alternative frameworks of the Moon's phases and eclipses
In this study we conducted an analysis of a project based, space science curriculum designed to support elementary school students in understanding complex, inter-related astronomy concepts. The curriculum, rather than directly addressing students' alternative frameworks, focused on supporting students in identifying their own existing understanding and reflecting on how their understanding evolves over time. To assess student conceptual change, we conducted pre and post interviews, examined student work, and had students complete a pre- and post-astronomy conceptual survey. Our results suggest that elementary school students can develop sophisticated understandings of astronomy concepts. In addition, our results also suggest that the direct engagement of students' alternative frameworks may not be necessary if the students are immersed in learning activities that afford students opportunities to examine and reflect on their understanding. These findings point out the need that instruction respect students' pre-existing ideas and supports their reflection and discussion of their ideas.
Barnett, M., & Morran, J. (2002). Addressing children’s alternative frameworks of the Moon’s phases and eclipses. International Journal of Science Education, 24(8), 859–879. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500690110095276