Does the man in the moon ever sleep? An analysis of student answers about simple astronomical events: a case study
In this article the answers provided by 98, 12-year-old students to questions included in an end-of-year science examination are analysed. Almost all of the students are able to explain day and night, but the reason why the Moon always presents the same face to the Earth is less well understood. Estimations of the time in Earth days from sunrise to sunrise on the Moon vary. Most students can explain the apparent movement of stars across the night-sky, but their direction is less certain. Implications of the findings for teaching and learning are addressed.