Cross-sectional study of students’ knowledge of sizes and distances of astronomical objects
This paper reports on the results from administering a modified version of the Introductory Astronomy Questionnaire (IAQ) to middle school students and preservice science teachers in Norway. Ranking tasks formed a key part of the instrument, and we detail a new method for analyzing ranking task data. One of our main findings was that even after instruction, a significant proportion of students held erroneous views and conceptions regarding sizes, distances, and the nature of basic astronomical entities, such as stars and planets. We argue that the commonalities between some of the issues we identified and those presented in extant studies—from a variety of countries, with samples ranging from junior high school students and undergraduates to primary school teachers—may point to deeper cognitive issues inherent in, and possibly unique to, engaging with astronomy.
Rajpaul, V. M., Lindstrøm, C., Engel, M. C., Brendehaug, M., & Allie, S. (2018). Cross-sectional study of students’ knowledge of sizes and distances of astronomical objects. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 14(2), 020108. https://doi.org/10.110
University of Cambridge, Astrophysics Group, Cavendish Laboratory | Department of Physics, University of Oxford | Faculty of Education and International Studies | Centre for Computing in Science Education | Department of Physics and Academic Development Programme, University of Cape Town,
Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research