Children's astronomical beliefs: a preliminary study of Year 6 children in south‐west England
Astronomy is now an established part of a National Science Curriculum operating in maintained schools throughout England and Wales. Children in the primary age phase (Key Stages 1 and 2, 5 to 11 years) have an opportunity to investigate an area of science which has influenced the nature of scientific thought and progress as a whole, highlights certain aspects of human, scientific and technological achievement, and forms a significant part of their everyday lives. Exploring the ideas of 10‐ to 11‐year‐olds concerning the planet Earth, Earth concept, the Sun, Moon and stars, day and night, the seasons, phases of the Moon and the solar system reveals the importance of everyday sensory experiences, including direct observations of the sky, cultural and social transmission, and formal instruction, in the construction of meaning to account for certain astronomical phenomena. Findings presented here carry implications for the teaching and learning of astronomy including potential research directions and curriculum developments in the UK and elsewhere in the world where astronomy education is offered to children of this age and older.
Sharp, J. G. (1996). Children’s astronomical beliefs: a preliminary study of Year 6 children in south‐west England. International Journal of Science Education, 18(6), 685–712. https://doi.org/10.1080/0950069960180604