Astronomy: learning theories applicable for education in planetarium environment
How do people learn in general and study astronomy in particular? To develop a coherent educational policy we need an appropriate theory. Does learning consist of the incremental addition of individual “bits” of information into the mind? Or is learning an active process that transforms the mind of the learner? Among different theories on how people learn are: Behaviorism, Neuroscience, Right Brain vs. Left Brain, Communities of Practice, Control Theory, Observational Learning (Social learning theory), Vygotsky and Social Cognition, Learning Styles, Piaget's theory, Constructivism, Brain-based Learning, Multiple Intelligences. These theories are described in brief. All of the above mentioned learning theories may be applicable to some extent in the case of astronomy education in a planetarium environment. Especially the Multiple Intelligences theory can be tested perfectly while teaching in Planetarium and thus should be taken into more thorough consideration. It is discussed what a planetarium may offer to the audience with different types of intelligences, according to the Multiple Intelligences approach.